Baby Blues (2008)



Scanning the shelves at Blockbuster, I chuckled as I saw the cover of Baby Blues, since it looked like a killer baby (or doll) movie. The clerk nearby laughed at my laughing, and said “Man, whatever you got, I want, because it’s making you laugh.” I told him the title, to which he replied “Baby Blues, oh no!”, despite the fact that he probably didn’t know the film from Baby Mama*. The guy at the counter also made lame jokes, so I dunno, maybe something was in the air tonight (hold on!) at Blockbuster. Usually they are silent; lately they don’t even bother telling me the due date.

Anyway, the movie was NOT about a killer baby (or doll), but in fact a killer mom. Essentially a slasher version of the Andrea Yates story, I was pretty pleasantly surprised to see how disturbing and fast paced it was, with no punches pulled. It’s not every day you see a woman stabbing her 5 year old son over and over, then chasing the two other kids around with a tractor and such.

On the IMDb, some folks are complaining that the movie should be banned and what not because it’s so disturbing and tries to make entertainment out of a real life problem (post natal depression, which is what sets the mom off). Of course, that means we should also ban Candyman (inner city people being ignored), Stir Of Echoes 2 (the Iraq War), Texas Chain Saw (the economy), etc. And the idea of banning a horror movie for being disturbing is both hilarious and sad; it’s so rare anymore that a horror film even TRIES to disturb the audience anymore, when one does its considered a “crime”.

Now, granted, many (all?) of these complaints are from women who are mothers or expecting to be (good luck, with your shrill attitude), so some slack can be cut. I am not a parent, or a farm owner, or a complete idiot, so I cannot identify with either the characters in the film or its critics, but I can safely say that the mere act of making a horror movie out of a real problem is sort of a good thing – you can be entertained (to a degree, it’s hardly a “fun” slasher like your Friday the 13ths or whatever) and maybe open your eyes a bit at the same time. Maybe if I become a dad I will look for warning signs that the mother of my child is suffering from post natal depression that I am now aware of, such as excessive crying, unmotivated feelings of inadequacy, or seeing stigmata in the bedsheets.

Speaking of the dad, one thing I definitely liked was that the dad in this movie wasn’t a complete asshole, like most horror movies present fathers as. He seems like a pretty chill dude, actually. He’s just trying to provide for his family, and if that means he has to spend the entire movie driving in a truck so that the filmmakers can cut to something besides filicide every now and then to pad their film out a bit (it’s not even 80 minutes long, with two full credit sequences plus usual end credits), so be it. His only flaw is not really thinking things through; early on he expresses his desire to have another child (which would make 5) despite the fact that the newest one doesn’t even seem to be a year old yet. Granted, actress Colleen Porch is hot as fucking hell (she looks like a cross between Evangeline Lilly and Angelina Jolie) and you can’t blame him for wanting to hit it, but Christ dude, look to my initials (BC!) for the best of both worlds.

Then again maybe they didn’t have the pill back then, with then being whenever the hell this movie is supposed to take place. The main kid’s friend has an Atari, which would put it at 1981 or so (that or it’s the present day and he’s just the youngest hipster ever), but they have a modern baby monitor. However, the farm hand listens to old records and everything else sort of looks like early 60s. I guess it’s sort of the point, to be “timeless”, but it’s a bit awkwardly done if so.

I must give credit to the directors (Lars Jacobson and Amardeep Kaleka) for their damn good direction though. It’s a beautifully shot movie, and other than some obvious day for night colored shots, technically flawless. They are big on cutaways to random objects, all of which serves to make the film feel a bit off kilter, not to mention supply heavy doses of atmosphere. It’s rare any of this DTV indie nonsense impresses in the technical department, so well done.

There is one part that’s a bit ridiculous though. The kid begins to freak out (due to the fact that his mom just killed his siblings and stabbed him with an ax) and thus begins smashing plates and overturning furniture. But in the middle of all that, he... turns the faucet on? What the hell kind of rebellious act of anger is that? Why not leave the fridge door open or maybe turn the light on in a room you’re not staying in while you’re at it?

So if you don’t like horror movies that are based in reality and are actually disturbing (and suspenseful), I would probably steer clear of this one. But if you can put aside the somewhat odd idea of presenting those ideas in a slasher format (she even has a couple of minor “one-liners”) and your soapbox has been put away, you should enjoy it.

What say you?

*A film that I had also picked up for a moment, because, well, Tina Fey is funny and cute, dammit. If that movie had Kristen Wiig instead of the uber-annoying Amy Poehler, it would be like porn to me.


  1. actually, what youre refferring to is postpartum psychosis:

    "Although the onset of symptoms can occur at anytime within the first three months after giving birth, women who have postpartum psychosis usually develop symptoms within the first two to three weeks after delivery. Postpartum psychosis symptoms usually appear quite suddenly; in 80% of cases, the psychosis occurs three to 14 days after a symptom-free period.

    Signs of postpartum psychosis include:

    * Hallucinations
    * Delusions
    * Illogical thoughts
    * Insomnia
    * Refusing to eat
    * Extreme feelings of anxiety and agitation
    * Periods of delirium or mania
    * Suicidal or homicidal thoughts

    Women with a personal history of psychosis, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have an increased risk of developing postpartum psychosis. Likewise, women who have a family history of psychosis, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have a greater chance of developing the disorder. Additonally, women who have had had a past incidence of postpartum psychosis are between 20% and 50% more likely of experiencing it again in a future pregnancy."

    Just sayin'.

  2. if you became a dad then your kids could start Disney movie a day!

  3. i'm going to check this one out sometime soon

  4. Lol thanks Kolleen...yeah I was thinking I was going to have to check my DSM-IV to see if they had added the diagnosis, post natal despression. guess that is psych-geek stuff if there is such a thing. It was shocking and disturbing. Although it's hard to pin point the time period it is really relevant to today (ie. even with Tom Cruise running his month that Post partum depression/psychosis doesn't exist).

  5. Hey yeah and also SHUT UP, both of you. I make up words, I can make up terms too.

  6. I just watched this film and was also pleasantly surprised. I thought all of the characters did an amazing job and Little Jimmy has a bright career ahead of him. I was shocked at how much Colleen Porch resembles Jolie. I am sure we will be seeing her in many films to come.

    Thanks for the review!


  7. i see no one yelling at you here.

  8. Thank you for this review. Finally someone gets it! I don't want to make this post about myself, so I will keep this reference short and sweet: I put out a piece of horror for public consumption and it was blown to bits by harsh criticism for dark subject matter, disturbing issues, violence to children/animals, and such. I mention this because, while it's understandable we all have likes and dislikes, my creation was panned across the board for all the disturbing real-life issues this film touches upon. It is horror, after all. Today, I think the preferred tone and content most horror fans want is, by and large, not horror, but fun entertainment with a few spooky touches. They want to laugh, jump, and cheer at the unrealistic carnage with a little mystery to keep them watching. This movie is artfully done with good production values and is based on a real condition--if that's not a recipe for good horror, I must be missing something. Anyway, I enjoyed Baby Blues (Cradle Will Fall). If only more films had the courage to go this deep and not just try for surface scares.


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