An example of the superior baby acting found in this movie
Although James Wan floods the market and tries his best to turn me off of killer doll movies, my love for them is too strong and my will is too weak; in short, I am a sucker for them. So when I fired up Baby Blues last night and realized that the film hails from China...well, I was psyched. Asian horror and a killer doll? Those are two of my favorite tastes and surely they must taste great together. Surely they must. Surely. I was sure.
And man, was I wrong! Baby Blues suffers greatly from an identity crisis of sorts: it dabbles in several subgenres but doesn't commit to any in a truly impactful way. The result is a mish-mosh story that goes everywhere and nowhere. And also it's just plain, you know, not very good.
Young marrieds Hao and Tian Qing move into a beautiful house despite the fact that the homeless man across the street warns them away. The house is evil! And so is the weird doll left behind by the previous tenants! Probably! The couple is undeterred, however, and for a while things are great. Tian Qing continues writing her successful blog, while record producer Hao gets the opportunity to write a new song for a popular singer named Bobo. (According to a poster in the record label headquarters, one of Bobo's previous hits was called "Kiss My Leg", and that song title is my new everything. Perhaps it was the lost theme from Witchery...?)
Soon Tian Qing is pregnant with twins, hooray! Everything is still great. Sadly, one of the twins is stillborn, but this doesn't register with the new mother, who breaks from reality and treats the creepy doll like her second newborn son. But the doll is evil! Kind of.
It all sounds simple enough, sure, but Baby Blues is all over the fucking place. It plays with the "killer song" idea as Bobo nearly dies after listening to Hao's tune (as did I–it was smooth jazz! *shudder*), but the idea is dropped. The time-tested "new mom flips out" genre is represented but not given enough room to really breathe. The house itself isn't evil at all. And the doll...is sort of possessed? Maybe? We learn a bit about its origin, but its motivations aren't clear–and yes, I realize that saying a killer doll's motivations aren't clear enough seems ridiculous, but this is the world I live in as a horror fan.
Baby Blues just doesn't know what it wants to be. I could forgive that, however, if it wasn't so bad. At times it straddles the line between "serious attempt" and "deliberate camp", and I found myself unable to decide if it was trying to be some kind of comedy. How else to explain the egregious use of terrible, over-the-top computer effects? (Gawd, so much computer.) Or the egregious use of a wig–one that always seemed on the verge of falling off–on Tian Qing for the second half of the film? What of the living twin baby, who was dropped from a second story window, held on mom's lap in the front seat of a car, and, at one point, tossed into the air like something out of a Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker production? Or the scene where the tiny doll tries to nudge the baby into the pool using his little doll feet? WHAT ARE YOU, BABY BLUES?
Ultimately, I doubt that the filmmakers had enough self-awareness for this to be anything but a genuine attempt at horror and as such it's an abject failure. Ugh, that is so painful to say! It hurts me in my heart place to say such terrible things about a movie that heavily features a bad wig and a killer doll. It's like I don't know what to believe anymore.
Tomorrow's movie: Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) - let's class this joint up a little and mourn the recent loss of a horror legend.