After recently losing her husband to an accident, Social worker Ann Gentry takes on the case of investigating the Wadsworth family. A very strange family, the Wadsworths consist of a mother, her two 20-something daughters, and a diaper-clad baby, who happens to be over 20 years old. Ted Post's cult-classic, 'The Baby' is an original, off-beat horror film that succeeds more so than not because of its dynamic performances and off-kilter finale. Part exploitation, horror, and even social commentary, The Baby is a very strange endeavor basically taking they typical horror convention of the psychotic parent, to all new heights. Ruth Roman plays the nutcase mother, a woman whose failings with the respective fathers of her children have given her much angst towards her youngest son. Through intense negative reinforcement, she has effectively stopped her son from ever learning how to do even the most basic of tasks such as walking, hence the 20-something baby. Marianna Hill and Susanne Zenor also deserve mention as the two sisters, each do a fantastic job at creating this creepy, mysterious aura with every inquisitive stare. Definitely with its dated moments, The Baby is the type of horror film that can be viewed with plenty of laughs throughout, yet still having the ability to hold onto its creepy tone despite this. Not a violent film by any means, The Baby relies heavily on both the perverseness of the story and the creepy performances to create something that isn't scary by traditional standards, though it's certainly something that is hard to forget. Probably above everything else, the thing that stands out about 'The Baby' is how the finale pulls a sorta role-reversal in which the mother strangely becomes sympathetic. I don't want to give anything away, but the ending is quite amazing and while it doesn't completely work in convention of the narrative, I'm not sure why I should have expected anything else.
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