Parents' Guide to

Hell Baby

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Vulgar, lowbrow horror-comedy has extreme blood and gore.

Movie R 2013 98 minutes
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Written and directed by Garant and Lennon, co-creators of the Reno 911! series and movie, as well as Balls of Fury, HELL BABY certainly isn't the worst horror comedy of all time (see Transylmania). It's told in a series of related sketches, rather than through a tightly constructed plot, and the actors were allowed to improvise; no one is weighed down by bad writing. In this environment, every once in a while a decent joke makes it through -- or at least jokes so odd or unlikely that you may find yourself amused later. And the cast members are, at the very least, largely likeable. Key often strikes just the right note as offbeat neighbor F'resnel, and Riki Lindhome is appealing as Vanessa's kooky sister. But most of it is still pretty bad. It often feels lazy and, when in doubt, falls back on bad taste. A large percentage of the jokes just fall flat, and the bulk of the movie is annoyingly repetitive, which only smacks of desperation.

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