Sunday, October 7, 2018

Movie Review: "Hell Baby" (2013)

Director: Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

When a pregnant woman named Vanessa and her husband Jack move into a fixer-upper in New Orleans, the couple is plagued by strange happenings. Matters only get worse when it appears that Vanessa may now be possessed by a demon that is growing inside her.
Hell Baby 2013 Leslie Bibb Rob Corddry
"You're not just a little nervous in this house?" (Image Source)
They say that the time a woman is pregnant is the best time of her life... unless your baby just so happens to be the spawn of Satan. "Hell Baby" is written and directed by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, who are both probably best known for their roles as Deputy Travis Junior and Lt. Jim Dangle on the television show "Reno 911!" This story revolves around a married couple named Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb), who are expecting their first child and have just bought a house in a rather unsavory neighborhood in New Orleans. What they don't know is the house they have purchased is also haunted, and soon, Vanessa's unborn baby will become possessed with the soul of the devil. This "hell baby" starts affecting her behavior, and more bizarre occurrences take place. Their new neighbor F'Resnel (Keegan-Michael Key) also keeps showing up uninvited, adding unneeded shenanigans to their problems. Jack seeks out help from Father Sebastian (Robert Ben Garrett) and Father Padrigo (Thomas Lennon), a couple of chain-smoking, foul-mouthed ghost hunting priests from the Vatican.
Hell Baby 2013 Keegan Michael Key Rob Corddry Kumail Nanjiani Riki Lindhome
"This is the worst idea of our lives." (Image Source)
Do you enjoy ridiculous humor? If so, "Hell Baby" is the horror comedy for you! This is a film that spoofs the haunted house and possession genres without doing a direct parody remake. That being said, there are still some references to horror classics like "The Exorcist," "The Omen" and "The Shining." Despite its low ratings across the internet, we found "Hell Baby" to be very funny at times. We found ourselves having a pretty steady stream of laughter for a good portion of its runtime. We admit that some of the running gags wear a little thin pretty quickly. It's evident that writers Garant and Lennon don't know when to stop beating a dead horse. Still, there are plenty of hilarious and bloody, ridiculous stoner-types of moments of fun to keep the audience entertained. Keegan-Michael Key does an excellent job playing a stereotypical cajun character, so if you're offended by bad accents, it's best to steer clear of this one. Leslie Bibb and Rob Corddry are very believable as a couple getting ready for the arrival of their first child, and they are both the standouts of this film for us. As Bibb's character Vanessa slips more and more into her possession, it makes for some unsavory-but-humorous one-liners and gross-out visuals. There is some good makeup work here, and there are several exaggerated horror moments that border on the ridiculous, but we still enjoyed it for the most part.
Hell Baby 2013 Leslie Bibb Thomas Lennon David Pasquesi
"Don't worry, kids, mommy's not going to be crazy forever." (Image Source)
"Hell Baby" is a bit of a mixed bag with a few more laughs than eye-rolling groans. Fans of "Reno 911!" and/or stoners won't be disappointed in this movie, but people who don't like over-the-top goofy humor need not apply.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.8/10
RT Rating: 31%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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