Hell Baby follows a couple that move into an old house with a bloody history. The wife (Leslie Bibb), 9 months pregnant, begins to show signs of possession soon after moving in. The husband (Rob Corddry) is forced to combat the evil forces with the help of two action hero-like priests (Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon) and a particularly nosy neighbor (Keegan-Michael Key).
Hell Baby Review
The cast out-shined an above average script as they lifted something that was likely a dud to a more than watchable movie. All too often, any horror comedy not a part of the Scary Movie franchise inevitably takes itself too seriously. This movie doesn't even consider flirting with a serious thought and chooses to fire its jump-scares in Keegan-Michael Key pop-ins.
I had a hard time picking a favorite actor in this film. Key's delivery is always on-point and Thomas Lennon rarely disappoints when he's given more than a cameo's worth of lines. Corddry was serviceable, and did a good job of feeding off the hilarity produced by his castmates. When you're doing a horror comedy, acting tends to take a backseat to delivery, and in this case it worked well for most of the production.
As is a common theme in horror comedies, the climax drags through its forced plot point. In this case, it's a demon baby. And we are forced to watch as the crew of misfits battle the hellspawn to less amusement than the rest of the film delivered. If I were required to extract a single highlight, it would have to be the priests. Their accents and mannerisms brought a smile to my face nearly every time I saw them. It was like a Matrix and Exorcist satire rolled into one.
The jokes managed to stay fresh for most of the runtime, avoiding cliches except when necessary to poke fun at the genre. There wasn't much to hate, but not much to love either. It falls in the category of being worth a view, but probably not much beyond that.
Horror Qualifier: 6/10
Horror Quality: 3/10
Film Quality: 4/10