Just what the h. e. double hockey sticks is a "Hell Baby"?
It’s the new film from Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, two staples of the show "Reno 911!" You may have to be fan of that irreverent cop parody show to appreciate the humor of "Hell Baby," itself a spoof of the demonic possession and paranormal activity movie genre. It’s light years ahead of recent genre spoofs such as "A Haunted House."
An expectant mother (Leslie Bibb) and father (Rob Corddry) move into a shoddy house in a shoddy neighborhood. In the movie’s constant and adroit depiction of 2013’s consumerism, the couple plans to make a few bucks on converting the home and flipping it.
Of course, the house was the site of numerous murders, according to their ever-present neighbor F’resenel (Keegan Michael Key), "Hell Baby’s" best and most consistent character. The couple laughs it all off, moving into the house anyway in their best "Amityville Horror" manner.
Enter two slacker priests hell-bent on getting rid of all demons in the house, mimicking both "The Exorcist" and more recent fare such as "The Conjuring." The movie’s middle-section lull is made up in the last 20 minutes or so, when "Hell Baby" finally comes to fruition. In the film’s best un-PC moments, the demon child is punched, prodded, and tossed around like a rag doll.
It wouldn’t be a horror/comedy without a copious amount of naked flesh, and kudos to actress Riki Lindhome, who goes full frontal for a good five minutes in one of "Hell Baby’s" many funny and uncomfortable moments.
Not all is fun and games with "Hell Baby," however. The improvisational style is clever at times, yet eventually runs out of steam. And many sight gags and scenes go on far too long, including an elongated, head-scratching scene where the local cops chomp on subs and fart their brains out.
To quote one of the lines of this film... ’flatulence jokes are so 2005.’