It's Alive! [1974/I]

A young couple joyously awaiting the birth of their newborn is in for a horrifying surprise in this thrilling low-budget '70s hit. It's Alive wastes no time in establishing that there is something terribly wrong with the Davies' new baby in a shocking opening "escape" sequence not intended for the faint of heart. As baby "It's Alive" makes its way home from the hospital destroying anything in its path, the Davies must face an impossible dilemma, and a parent's worse nightmare! An interesting hybrid of melodrama and monster movie, It's Alive focuses more on story and satirical social commentary than blood and gore, finding a balanced tone of realism meets camp. In the tradition of other great monster movies, clever quick-edit shots of the baby are introduced to the audience in small doses, building some solid suspense. Sure, there's mandatory suspension of belief involved, but who has time to ponder gaping holes in logic when an entire metropolis lives in fear of a baby monstrosity? Maverick independent film maker Larry Cohen struck gold with this chilling "it could happen to you" tale of terror which went on to gain cult status and spawn two sequels (It Lives Again and Island of the Alive). Featuring some strong performances, genuinely creepy creature effects by master of make-up artist Rick Baker (King Kong, Star Wars, Men in Black), and a marvelously effective score by legendary composer Bernard Hermann (Psycho, The Birds, Kill Bill Vol. 1), It's Alive is schlock at its best. --Matt Wold

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