2008, for some damn reason, gave us two movies called "Baby Blues". This is the more offensive of the two, seeing as how this is a horror movie, not a sappy romance.
The premise is simple. Take one woman, add a trucker husband, four children (one an infant), a tiny farm in the middle of the Georgia boonies and a whole heap of post-partum depression complete with psychotic break. Blend well, pour onto celluloid.
The movie starts with a relatively accurate portrayal of mental illness which is kind of designed to throw us off guard. Mom has just had a baby and post-partum depression is a part of that. We get that. We understand. It's a real thing and there's no shame in it.
Mommy needs a prozac.
Little things start piling up. Kids get annoying, we get that, too. Hubby's a trucker so he's not home a lot. It's a pain in the ass. Gotcha. You're seeing blood spots show up on the laundry. Ummmmm...
Yeah, so the eldest, Jimmy, is concerned about his baseball game and his mom and brings this up to his father who, in typical fashion, blows it off. "Moms just get like that." Seriously? Also, do truckers still use CBs? Is that still a thing?
Anyway, Dad leaves for work and Mom sets off on her very quick trip to Binkers-Town. Like, a hop, skip and a jump. Kids bicker at dinner and mom starts throwing dishes around and takes the baby for a bath. She somehow forgot the baby's snorkel because after Jimmy cleans up, he goes to check on Mom and finds the baby dead. Mom is crying in the bathroom. Little sister Cathy comes in to report a spilled juice box and Mom decides to do the laundry with the little girl still in it. Jimmy saves her by breaking Grandma's mirror over her head.
Jimmy sends little brother Sammy to get help but Mom stops him with the power words "Because I said so" and then stabs him repeatedly with Grandma's mirror for disobeying her.
You know, a session on the naughty stool might be more effective, here.
Jimmy and Cathy run for their lives through a cornfield and Mom chases them down with a combine. Jimmy shoots out the glass with a slingshot and takes his sister to the barn where mom stabs a pig AND Cathy with a pitchfork. Jimmy, in true horror movie fashion, steps on a nail and hides out in the henhouse. Mom finds him but gets distracted by the dog so that Jimmy can make it to the house and call for help on the CB. Mom, of course, kills the farmhand that comes to save her from the dog and gets to the house where Jimmy, for a little while traps her in the bathroom. And the struggle continues.
I TOLD you to EAT YOUR PEAS!
OK, so, I know that this is based on the Andrea Yates situation but I'm not entirely sure that there needed to be the "Based on Actual Events" disclaimer at the beginning. Andrea Yates just used a tub. She was one of those weird "Duggar"-like religious people that use their uterus like a clown car and feel that they should have as many children as possible in order to force an Evangelical majority but she didn't go all "The Shining" on her kids. Well, she might have but there was no stabbing involved.
This is not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination but it's not great, either. It's not badly acted, for the most part, and the directors, Lars Jacobson and Amardeep Kaleeka, do a good job in making the mundane fearsome but Jacobson needs to be slapped around a little for Mom's dialogue. No one talks like that, Jacobson. No one. It's seriously like he wanted her to be the Mominator.
In all actuality, though, this IS a tough watch because no one wants to watch kids being killed, even if the deaths are off-screen, let alone by their own mother. And it IS made all that much more disturbing by the fact that post-partum depression is a real thing and it DOES make bad things happen. Not THIS bad but bad enough.
This film is NOT recommended for pregnant women but it'll kill a couple of bored hours for anyone else.