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[Movie Review] Hell Baby

Hell Baby written and directed by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon of Reno 911 fame tries and fails to spoof the horror genre. Starring Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb as couple moving into a wonderful home in New Orleans just in time for the arrival of their first child.
Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon play two chain smoking priests from the Church that specialize in exorcisms while Keegan Michael Key plays the neighbor next door that general breaks in and gives the charming couple the bloody backstory on the house.
And along the way there’s a gratuitous, drawn out scene of nudity with Rikki Lindholm that just goes to show the script needed one more pass.
Now having just gotten into American Horror Story’s first season this movie hits on several recurring themes: the supposedly creepy spirit haunting the house, the possession of the pregnant woman, the house acting out like stacking boxes to vex Rob Corddry and of course the aforementioned exorcism by the two priests. I’m going to ignore Rikki Lindholm’s character trying to exorcise the house with mind altering drugs.
It should be funny. It should be funnier. It should be funny to watch the creepy spirit turn out to be an old shriveled up old naked woman who the couple have to bury in the back yard. This creates great tension only to find the tension evaporates when she wakes up uninjured.
The priests are ineffective and while they got the look down they spin their wheels until the last act when the hell baby arrives and an all out fisticuffs begins. The fisticuffs was great. Who doesn’t love it when grown adults punch and wail on a demon baby puppet.
I wanted to like this movie but it comes up far short. The ingredients are there for a funny flick. The characters are there and so is the setting but Leslie Bibb barely gets time to shine and when she does she’s plays a great possessed pregnant lady drinking turpentine, smoking and speaking pit bull.
I found Balls of Fury to be a funny and well directed movie so seeing this just makes me wonder what happened. Wait for it to appear on cable, not worth spending your money.
This earns the Paulie Award.

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