Friday, February 28, 2014

Hell Baby - I think you're safer here than in any of the murder-free places we've ever lived at.

Runtime: 98 minutes
Release Date: September 6, 2013
Rating: R
Director: Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon

Heavily pregnant and soon to pop Vanessa and her husband Jack move into a new house known around the neighborhood as the House of Blood. They learn the nickname when F'resnel, one of the guys in the neighborhood, pop up on their first night there. On the same day that they move in, the camera pans up to show a scary naked woman standing in the window.

Since Hell Baby is a spoof, the film kind of combines elements of Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, and other horror flicks. Vanessa suddenly starts eating raw meat, washing her hands until they bleed, and practically speaking in tongues, while Jack finds himself woken early one morning to the naked and toothless scary woman from the beginning going down on him in bed. Once the Vatican learns of the problem, they send Father Sebastian (Robert Ben Garant) and Father Padrigo (Thomas Lennon) to investigate.

Hell Baby got some really bad reviews, but it seems like more horror spoofs get bad reviews. A lot of people hated on Scary Movie 5 and complained that it wasn't as good as the first few, but I liked it. Then again, even the other Scary Movie films got bad reviews. I first heard about Hell Baby when Microsoft offer a free rental a few weeks ago, but I didn't get the chance to watch it thanks to some personal issues going on at the time. When I saw it in stock at Redbox and had a free coupon code, I decided what the heck and grabbed it.

It's hard for me to review Hell Baby because I both liked it and didn't like it at the same time. I laughed multiple times, but I have a girl crush on Leslie Bibb (Vanessa) from her Popular days, and I thought Rob Corddy was the highlight of Hot Tub Time Machine. (Yes, I do sometimes watch films other than horror movies, including a recent viewing of Blue Jasmine, which I loved.) I thought that maybe I just wanted to like it because I liked them, but my roommate found it pretty funny too.

It probably helps that I loved Reno 911 and love both Garant and Lennon. I can't see Lennon anymore without thinking about his small roles in We're The Millers and the Harold and Kumar Christmas movie or recently discovering he had scenes deleted from The Internship.

While I thought the movie was funny, it got a little grating towards the end. I found myself laughing less and less as the movie progressed, and I probably only cracked a few smiles in the last 30 minutes. It almost felt like the movie was pushing itself to remain as funny at the end as it was at the beginning. By the time Vanessa gave birth, I was just relieved that the ending was right around the corner. Though Hell Baby was only 98 minutes long, the last 30 minutes or so felt like an eternity. I wish it was just as funny throughout its entire runtime.

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