Itís Alive DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 3.5
Video 4.0
Audio 3.0
Special Features   0.0
Total 3.5
Distributor: Sony
Classification: MA15+
Minutes: 80 minutes
Reviewer: Hannah Lee

3.4


Itís Alive

Frankenstein yells this line at the top of his voice when he gives life to an incomprehensibly grotesque monster Ė a creation that is driven by an ambiguous mix of genius and insanity. Fittingly, this very line is the title of a monstrous film that should never have been brought back to life from Larry Cohenís 1974 original, Itís Alive. In this case, the remakeís creation is driven by a clear mix of idiocy and just really, really poor judgement.  

A young couple, Lenore (Bijou Phillips) and Frank (James Murray), expect a bouncing baby boy. What they donít expect, is a premature birth and a bloody massacre to take place in the very operating room in which Lenore has her caesarean. While the police canít even guess what might have happened in the hospital, Lenore and Frank take their newborn baby, Daniel, to his new isolated home in Larkspur so that he can become acquainted with the small creatures of the forest and eat their guts out. This craving for flesh and blood grows increasingly stronger until it begins to consume Lenoreís life. And her friends.  

With a story as ridiculous as this, itís difficult to take anything seriously in Itís Alive.  Horror becomes comedy, suspense is turned into a dulled sense of expectation for the predictable, and no amount of blood and gore can conceal the unconvincing logic used by the film to explain the babyís evil nature. Surely, a baby capable of eating fully-grown humans must have been spawned by Satan himself. And if this was the case, we could blame Satan for endowing baby Daniel with such a misshapen and unconvincing CGI form. Such disappointing artificiality never took on such an evil form. 

Nevertheless, the filmís visual direction and editing is markedly better than the quality of the story and baby Danielís face. Relying on shock value and speedy flashbacks, director Josef Rusnak paces the film with the appropriate amount of climactic build ups, horrific reveals and misleadingly calmer moments through the use of sound effects intended to make you jump in your seat, and a naturally sharp contrast between slow, still shots and fast-paced flashes of blood-dripping horror. Point of view shots are also used mercilessly from peering into the crib with baited breath, to seeing through the eyes of the devil-baby himself, heaving in asthmatic breaths while he watches his victims. Having said that, Rusnakís style of direction and the way in which the filmís events progress donít necessarily stand out as anything original, but merely something that is bearable to watch.  

In the end, it is the outdated concept of a people-eating baby killer that makes the film intellectually insulting and unenjoyable. Due to the numerous issues of logic that take murderous bites out of the filmís credibility, Rusnakís competent direction and potentially frightening moments are rendered comical and amusing. Lacking in originality and quality, the unsatisfying explanations, underwhelming responses to chewed up bodies and easily resolved horrors will make you wish Itís Alive wasnít alive.                                                                          






 
 



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