Never trust a hippy. That is the core message behind Pablo Illanes' super pulpy and super entertaining slasher film Baby Shower. By blending a plot line that could have been lifted from a latino telenovela with one lifted from the 70s religio-horror movement and laying on copious amounts of blood Illanes proves there is life in the venerable slasher genre yet.
Heavily pregnant and deeply troubled, Angela has moved off into the remote countryside outside of Santiago too nurse her wounds and prepare for the arrival of her twins. Her mother recently deceased and her husband conspicuously absent Angela has turned instead to a local spiritual group for support. Appearing to be less a religion than a fusion of meditation and yoga techniques they have welcomed Angela in, becoming a surrogate family with the group's leader even standing in as midwife for the babies' imminent birth.
It's a model of New Age peace and tranquility, at least it appears to be until three of Angela's closest friends - and one personal assistant - arrive on the scene to throw a baby shower for their old friend. Jealousies raise their ugly head soon enough and things turn grim, becoming grimmer still when it turns out there is a very, very dark side to Angela's support group.
Illanes turns in a rousing crowd pleaser with Baby Shower, a film that starts with five bitchy women in a room and ends in a full-out bloodbath. The script is pure pulp, the elements all familiar from other work but Illanes keeps it fresh by combining his elements in new and surprising ways and by having a good sense of when to give the audience what they expect and when to throw in a curve. He is also intimately familiar with the value of an exposed breast and the liberal application of blood.
Also helping greatly are the excellent production values of the film. From start to finish Baby Shower is beautifully shot, taking excellent advantage of its natural surroundings and the gorgeous manor home that is its primary location with cinematography and sound design both well above the norm for what typically comes from the region. Brisk editing keeps the pace up and events rolling along at a nice clip as well.
An unashamed b film made purely to entertain a dedicated horror audience, Baby Shower does exactly that.
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