Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mom Goes Nutso

Baby Blues 2008
Directors: Lars Jacobsen and Amardeep Kaledeka
Writer: Lars Jacobsen
Starring Colleen Porch, Ridge Canipe, Joel Bryant, Kali Majors, Holden Thomas Maynard and Gene Witham

This was a film I had many interesting things about, so I thought I would check it out. It is quite a gripping and frightening film. It said it is based on actual events, I do not know what it is based on, but the incident it seems most familiar too is the Susan Smith case that happened in Texas a few years back. The film was very harrowing at times and it at times sort of reminded me of Charles Laughton's classic suspense film Night of the Hunter. It deals with the same issues a young child having to defend himself and his siblings from a adult that has gone amok. Though in this case it is the mother that went batshit crazy instead of a interloping step parent. It is a child's worst fear that one of their parents will change and become something irrevocably evil.. That is what this film really plays upon. It also deals with the very real threat of post partum depression and how it can change a woman's personality and fracture her psyche.
The plot basics are this, on a secluded farm a young mother (Porch) who has four children is collapsing due to stress of raising her children and not having the support with her husband (Bryant), always away working as a truck driver. It falls upon their eldest son (Canipe) to be the man of the house. But it seems that the mother is having a mental breakdown, due in parts to post-partum depression and the stress of keeping the family together. She begins to hear voices and soon, she goes into a dementia state and drowns her newborn baby and sets her sights on the rest of the family and it is up to the eldest to save them and to try to outwit his mother, who he loves deeply but has to fight her to save his life and the lives of his siblings.
This was a really tense and suspenseful film> The direction was tight, very claustrophobic at times and it was really great how they filmed the quickly dissolving mind of the mother. The script was very good too, the characterization was minimalist, but it worked very well for the film. It set up everything perfectly and you knew from the get go that something was wrong with this family. The cast was very good, it is really anchored by Porch and Canipe as the mother and the son fighting off her madness with only his smarts at his side. The gore is limited but done very effectively. The ending is quite good, with a nice twist. I cannot end the film without speaking about the scene in the bathroom of the house, it was very reminiscent of the bathroom attack in The Shining and Porch really brings the spirit of Nicholson in that scene. I highly recommend this to people who love suspenseful films that keep you on the edge of the seat till the nerve wracking climax.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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