You may recall Julie and I had some fun with the original It's Alive series a ways back, and it happened to be the same year this remake came out. I'd seen a trailer for it but the movie remained elusive, and we didn't get to complete the set that year. It's unavailability was probably due to its direct-to-video status, which honestly was too good for it.
The problem with the Killer Baby notion is that the audience has to accept a monster that weighs at most around 15 pounds. The original It's Alive got around that by hardly ever showing the baby and implying something that looked scary by the other actors' reactions. And they managed the no-show aspect because immediately after killing every staff member in the delivery room, the critter scampered off. The notion of a baby being born and right away killing everyone around it is pretty damn cool horror moment, in fact it's the best thing the It's Alive series has going for it.
This remake has the same opening, with one key difference. When the authorities enter the blood-soaked delivery room, the baby is lying peacefully on top of his mommy's tummy. So it looks normal. It's a normal-looking baby that can viciously kill people, and the movie never really shows you how that works. The Holy Grail does a better job with its killer rabbit. Oh, there's one scene in which Dad's finger gets cut by a tiny baby nail, which hints at something cool, but then hours and hours go by (crammed into 80 minutes somehow) and the big whammy comes and it's 1) a normal-looking baby hand punching through someone's face from the back and out the mouth, 2) a very dark scene featuring a baby on the wall above a guy and then it jumps on the guy's neck, and 3) that shot I posted above, just like that, filling the screen and surrounded by darkness.
There are numerous scenes of people looking lovingly at the baby and talking about how beautiful he is, so what's going on here? It transforms, right? That must be it. So the whole movie I'm waiting for the big reveal, watching the blunt-force narrative unfold itself clumsily. Okay, so the mom's in on it, covering up the mangled animals and later the larger stuff, because of course people come over and make trouble. I wasn't enjoying the plot but I was looking forward to the crappy CG baby transformation that I knew was coming, hoping for something like this pint-sized murderous beastie from one of Marvel's old Captain Britain comics:
Now that's how you do a bloodthirsty monster baby! Instead you get basically nothing. Baby looks totally normal but can haul people into the back of a pickup truck with its eight inch long arms. You look to the movie for help and it shrugs back at you. I bitch a lot about movies that are too stingy with the monster, and I think this might be worse. I think this time they actually forgot to put a monster in the monster movie. Oy.