As an avid fan of horror cinema for the majority of my life, I’ve seen some pretty strange themes being explored. Very few of these, however, strike me as being as strange as Ted Post’s “The Baby.”
This 1973 film is not like most horror films. It’s not gory, there are no serial killers terrorizing innocent victims, no other supernatural acts being portrayed… Instead, “The Baby” tells the story of a mother who mentally and physically reprimands her son so much that it stunts his mental growth, preventing it from ever getting past that of a toddler. Yes, that is correct! Physically a grown man, ‘baby’ has the mental capacity of a young child in its early stages, or so we are convinced by mother and her daughters, Germaine and Alba.
I rather enjoyed this movie. I thought the acting was very well done, with Ruth Roman doing an outstanding job as the ‘evil’ mother, Mrs. Wadsworth. Anjanette Comer also did fantastic and was very convincing as the curious and very caring social worker, hellbent on helping baby out of his current situation. The star of the film, however, was without a doubt David Mooney. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for an actor to have to act like a baby for an entire feature-length film. Mooney delivered an incredible performance and certainly was the right choice for the role.
I wasn’t totally convinced this movie was considered horror until the last 10 minutes or so. Once the film neared its final resolution, things really started to pick up. The blood effects weren’t the best, but they were very good for its time and certainly lent a helping hand in giving the official ‘horror’ stamp to “The Baby.”
I did not see the end coming at all and I can guarantee no one else could possibly predict it either! I really didn’t know what to expect, but I love what they did with it and don’t think it should have ended any differently.
This movie, overall, was a very good watch and I give it my approval with 3.5 teddy bears out of 5.