It’s Alive is a deeply unsettling film about a man forced to confront himself (and his insecurities) via his imperfect child, and the trial-by-fire he must undergo in order to learn to love unconditionally.
Quite strong as symbolically predating the same plot as covered in a literal manner in We Need to Talk About Kevin, about the soul-searching and emotional fallout of being a parent to a mass murderer, by 37 years. Both films lack a solid murderous reasoning-- not just derived from social-environmental factors, nor just a mutation-- and contain the belief of everlasting parental love and responsibility for your kin.
Unfortunately, this was the least popular of the movies I showed in Art School. They liked the more typical stuff like 'Satyricon'. I think any good film education has to have stuff like this. Satyricon is easy to appreciate, because it's like a moving painting. 'It's Alive' is an allegory about loving your children despite them being monsters.
I was expecting more of a horror comedy - something rather cheap and schlocky - but was incredibly surprised by how compelling, tense, thoughtful, sincerely acted, and, dare I say it, heart-breaking this film was. A unique and underrated film.
Iconic 70's horror film represented Cohen's first horror film that relied more on performance and suggestion than on gore and horror. By today's standards its beyond tame but does have a certain vibe to it that still leaves it solely in the horror genre. Ryan and Farrell are both solid here as the mutant's parents and the film also features a memorable score by Bernard Herrmann.
talk about an over-inflated reputation. This Larry Cohen film has zero suspense and zero scares. The tightly wound performance of John P. Ryan wears thin, leaving the viewer rooting for the baby to do him in!
A curious amount of slow-burn for this type of horror, which makes the pacing a bit off, but overall I quite enjoyed this. Beautiful and snazzy scenes of 70s L.A., some really nice shots, and an interesting and fun premise. Definitely going to the screening of the sequel!
rewatched on tcm (HD), better than how I remembered it being (HBO cir. 1980s lo def). not a suspense film really,or horror, more science-fiction and the scare is really in the premise. really good performances by the parents