Taking Postnatal Depression to the Extremes: "Baby Blues" (2008) [REVIEW]
Note: This film is also called “Cradle Will Fall”, but I will be reviewing it under its original title. “Cradle Will Fall” is the title of the DVD release. (as shown above)
Baby Blues follows the story of a character simply referred to as “Mother” (Colleen Porch) who suffers a breakdown due to postnatal depression. Naturally, grisly results soon follow. The audience is greeted with a title card at the beginning of the film that states that “the following is based on actual events”. After researching this, I discovered that the film is loosely based on the true life crimes of Andrea Yates.
The film opens with a very eerie scene of a mother singing to a baby. The lighting is very low-key and provides the perfect unsettling image for a film of this nature. It then cuts to a scene where children are playing outside, with more high-key lighting. The editing in this film is very impressive as it provides the right sort of atmosphere for each individual scene. We are then introduced to “Mother” properly, and we can instantly see how out of touch and depressed she is. Porch does an incredible job at portraying the mother character, and I was convinced by her performance.
All the characters in the film were realistic and the father character (Joel Bryant) played the role of a man that comes across as being disinterested because of work commitments. The film definitely showcases the idea of a family broken apart by various aspects, which is identifiable to many audiences. The eldest son (Ridge Canipe) is also a very good character, as he does everything in his power to help the family during his father’s absence.
I was very impressed by the scenes where “Mother” is hallucinating. It turns everyday activities into something terrifying, and gives the audience insight into how she sees the world. As her character begins to deteriorate, she becomes incredibly terrifying. In one scene, she pricks her finger and uses her blood as lipstick, and in another, she hallucinates that there is blood all over one of her daughter’s shirts. Given the nature of the film, it could have been considered incredibly controversial if they had shown any of the murders in graphic detail. The two directors, Lars Jacobson and Amardeep Kaleka managed to create the right mix of subtlety and shock value which gives real meaning to the film.
Personally, I was very disturbed by the film, as it addresses a form of depression that is common in the real world. However, I really enjoyed it, as everyone involved had the courage to produce a film based on a touchy subject. Baby Blues is a shocking, believable horror film that makes use of the true crime it is based on.
“Baby Blues (Cradle Will Fall)” (2008)
Starring: Colleen Porch, Ridge Canipe, Joel Bryant
Director(s): Lars Jacobson, Amardeep Kaleka
Writer(s): Lars Jacobson