Movie Review: It's Alive (1974)

Synopsis: Los Angeles couple Frank and Lenore Davis go to the hospital to deliver their second child. However, likely due to the birth control pills she had taken prior to getting pregnant, their baby is horribly mutated, animalistic and blood thirsty. After it kills the hospital personnel in the delivery room, it escapes into the city sewers and causes a city-wide hunt.

Who's in it? The movie stars John P. RyanSharon FarrellAndrew DugganGuy Stockwell and James Dixon.

Review: I had this movie in my library and my wife remembered seeing it when she was younger and being frightened by it so we decided to watch it last night. The movie wasn't as scary as she remembered but still ended up being an OK choice.

To tell you the truth, the part about the mutant baby was better than I was expecting it to be. The film does a good job showing just enough of the child to give people an idea of what it looked like without letting people fixate on any fakeness in its appearance. 

Frank (Ryan) and Lenore's reactions to the child was also something I thought was intriguing. He seemed less concerned about the death and carnage being caused by his mutant child and more concerned about being embarrassed and judged. She, on the other hand, still loved her son and was willing to protect it regardless of what it was doing. 

Another thing I found interesting was the movie seemed to have a not-so-subtle message regarding reproductive rights (whether it was intentional or not), both because of the mutation's connection to birth control pills and the somewhat strange and awkward conversation regarding how they thought about having an abortion because (paraphrasing) it was a conversation everyone was having nowadays. Given everything that has happened in the past year regarding that very subject, I thought it was interesting seeing that 1970s point of view and really wondered if that was the whole point of the film.

One thing I do wish the movie would have spent more time exploring was Frank and Lenore's relationship. There were times when she seemed a lot more frightened of her husband than of her mutant, man-eating baby which was a big red flag for me. Even some of their conversations earlier in the film seemed to point to a woman who was desperate to please her husband out of fear rather than love. It just seemed like there was more of a story there.

Final Opinion: Again, it isn't as scary as it probably was when it first came out. However, the overall plot is interesting enough to make it worth watching even if you aren't getting scared every few minutes.

My Grade: B-


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