23rd Oct2013

31 Days of Horror: ‘Cradle Will Fall’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Colleen Porch, Joel Bryant, Ridege Canipe | Written by Lars Jacobson | Directed by Lars Jacobson, Amardeep Keleka

Cradle-Will-Fall

Cradle Will Fall aka Baby Blues, the debut feature from the team of Lars Jacobson and Amardeep Keleka, is based (very loosely) on the true story of Andrea Yates – a Texan mother who drowned her five children in the bath in 2001 and is a story of post partum depression taken to the horrific slasher movie extreme. The film is most definitely not for the motherly types out there. With her truck driving husband constantly out on the road, a young mother (Colleen Porch) struggles to raise her three young children alone on a secluded farmhouse. Already suffering from post partum depression, the pressure of caring for her three children causes her to undergo a psychotic break and triggers a filicidal rampage. The only person capable of stopping her murderous attack is her eldest child, 10 year old Jimmy, who must protect his little sister and newborn brother whilst fending off the one person a child instinctively looks to for protection. Their mother…

Let’s get this out of the way first – If you don’t like to see kids in mortal peril, especially for entertainment purposes, then don’t watch this film. If you have a problem with seeing kids threatened or attacked with knives, guns, hatchets, pitchforks and combine harvesters, then don’t watch this film. If you’ve ever switched a movie off because the suffering of a child, then don’t watch this film. If you object to the idea of turning the tragic true life consequences of post partum depression into a horror movie, then don’t watch this film. If any of those concepts outrage you I suggest you REALLY don’t watch this movie. Got the message? For the rest of us Cradle Will Fall offers a different slant on the slasher film, whilst at the same time conforming to the stereotypes of the genre and also cheekily lifting ideas from Kubrick’s The Shining – including the famous door/axe scene!

Cradle Will Fall throws the viewer in at the deep end right from the start, there’s no time spent on character development and narrative build up – both of which the movie could have benefitted from but then that would belie the film’s slasher movie roots. Where directors Lars Jacobson and Amardeep Keleka are successful however, is in building a real air of menace and they manage crank up the tension immediately by killing off one of the children thus proving to the audience that all bets are off and no one in the movie is safe. A situation which is further compounded when mom comes a callin’ in the barn with a pitchfork and poor little Cathy is hiding in the hay! Colleen Porch, as the mother, garnered rave reviews for her role as the psychotic mother and you can see why, her performance is part Mrs Vorhees from the original Friday the 13th and part Jack Torrance from Kubrick’s The Shining. But it’s Ridge Canipe as the terrified Jimmy that is the real star of the film, as he successfully carries the entire second half of the movie on his own and really makes you feel for his character.

With a short running time Cradle Will Fall doesn’t out stay it’s welcome and although some may object to the use of post partum depression as a trigger for the film’s filicidal rampage, the film – despite rehashing many horror cliches – is one step above other films of its ilk and is a suitably creepy entry into the slasher genre.

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