Review: 'Hell Baby'

By: Heather Seebach

Tom Lennon and Ben Garant (above) are kind of notorious for writing crappy Hollywood movies - and they're pretty frank about that fact. They even wrote a satirical book titled, "Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!" I've been a fan of these guys since childhood as Lennon always was my favorite member of cult sketch troupe, The State. Plus, they created the very funny Reno 911!

Despite their success on television, however, the writing duo's film work has ranged from laughably bad (The Pacifier, Taxi) to dumb-but-kinda-funny (Let's Go to Prison, Balls of Fury). Their latest, Hell Baby falls into the latter category but this is still the most I've liked their work since Reno. For the first time, Ben and Tom stepped behind the camera as co-directors of this indie comedy.

Like a couple other 2013 comedies (This Is The End; A Haunted House), Hell Baby apes the horror genre, specifically possession/exorcism films. Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb play husband Jack and pregnant wife Vanessa who just moved into a ramshackle New Orleans home. They soon discover the house has a creepy history and it begins to affect Vanessa's behavior. Needless to say, there is a "hell baby" in it somewhere though not for very long.

Hell Baby is populated with very funny people, including the leads; Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer as inept cops; Keegan Michael Key as a creepy neighbor; and Garant and Lennon themselves as chain-smoking exorcists. The jokes are hit-or-miss, ranging from staples of bad tastes - vomit, blowjobs, baby punching - to some clever jabs at horror cliches. I have no doubt that many people will find this film frustratingly stupid but the fact that it made me chuckle a few times says a lot.

Perhaps it was my fondness for everyone in this cast, or the prevalent horror theme, but I enjoyed it a lot more than Lennon/Garant's previous efforts. With no shortage of gore and full-front nudity, this film is definitely not for the prudish or faint-of-heart, but fans of The State, Reno 911!, Stella, Children's Hospital, Key and Peele, Human Giant, etc. will dig the humor. 

Hell Baby is now on DVD and Blu-ray. The Unrated release includes over 40 minutes of extras, including deleted scenes and a gag reel. With a cast this funny, those are always must-see's. You can pick up a copy at the links below:

  Hell Baby (DVD)

  Hell Baby (Blu-Ray)

Like the post? Share with your friends!

Also find us here: