Greene Screene: It’s Alive
“Another’s been born in Seattle.”
Most evil baby movies merely focus on the carnage wrought by monstrous infants upon our unsuspecting world. Very few of them consider who created these babies, who brought this evil into the world, and who might bear some responsibility.
Ostensibly, Larry Cohen’s It’s Alive is about the horror of parenting and bringing a child into this scary world. But, really, it’s about what happens when a husband and wife are no longer connecting, are no longer in love, yet continue to produce children, and the real cost our world pays for such a grievous mistake.
It’s Alive is about a man who goes into work the next day after his demon baby murdered five people in the operating room because he desperately needs to focus on SOMETHING ELSE. It’s about a woman in utter denial, about her child, about her husband, about her life — she consumes herself with appearances, determined to set the table real nice to better sell this fiction. The couple sends their son away, denying him even the knowledge of what’s happening, ensuring the cycle of denial continues.
While I found It’s Alive frustratingly middle of the road in its approach while watching the film — not enough grisly baby monster murder on one hand, not substantial enough real-world psychodrama on the other, it’s stuck with me more than most of my horror romps this month.
Some days the generation gap feels impossible to bridge. I often don’t know how to talk to my parents and we (mostly) agree on how we want the world to be. What hope is there when so many others don’t? When there’s a complete lack of understanding on both sides? While the film doesn’t wholly earn it, It’s Alive has the audacity to offer hope where one least suspects it, something I’ve clung to often during the darkest hours of our present reality.