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The Lullaby (2018) - Movie Review

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Lullaby - Movie Review

Movie Review

4 starsAnd the cradle will rock.

Motherhood is a game changer. You don’t have to be a woman to recognize that. The additional stress of a newborn overwhelms many young mothers. In director Darrell Roodt’s The Lullaby, though, we see an additional dark tinge to these trying times. While his previous films (City of Blood and Dracula 3000) were less than stellar, his latest effort shows the strength his films in South Africa promised.   The Lullaby is a disturbing expression of horror.

Chloe (Reine Swart) ran from home at an early age. She was fleeing her dominating mother, Ruby (Thandi Puren), and a boy, Adam (Deànré Reiners), who wanted to be her one and only. Now, she’s back but there’s a baby on board and Chloe doesn’t want to talk about whom (or what) the father might be. At all. She also doesn’t want to talk about the disturbing thoughts she’s having about ending her child’s new life.

The film begins with a 1901 backstory in which a very crazed preacher shames a mother and then cracks open the neck of her baby and tosses it off a cliff. Horrifying. But the editing is top notch as we move from the cries of a child in 1901 to the cries of Chloe as she delivers her baby and, finally, to the cries of her newborn child as Chloe and her mother make it back home, all to the cheery lullaby of “ring his neck and throw him a ditch” and soon the newborn is asleep.

Using a healthy combination of gore, jump scares, and damn effective atmosphere, The Lullaby sends shivers down the spine as Chloe begins to lose sense of reality. She’s not sleeping through the night, being up with the baby, and fears a dark presence around her young son, Liam. Something is trying to hurt him. Or is it? This is where her paranoia comes into full bloom. Is this really happening?

With disturbing images of harming her son, the house suddenly comes to life with a heavy BOOM. Doors open and close on their own. Shadows have clown-white faces. Even the static on the television set seems to be revealing a strange figure lurking about the rooms of her mother’s house. This atmospheric thriller is steadfast in its duty to haunt audiences. It also helps build the pressure that we confined to the ripe shadows of a single location, furthering Chloe’s disconnect and alienation.

But it is in the way all the pieces fit together in which The Lullaby reaches its full potential. Effectively unnerving, the film uses practical effects to bring about its most terrifying moments. This one is rich with syrupy mood and demonic activities. It’s a slow burn of a horror film and its drawn out pacing is deliberately effective in creating a suspense that will cause your nerves to work twice as hard during its running time.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release The Lullaby on VOD and in select theaters on March 2. Get the babysitter lined up; small kiddos aren’t going to survive the dark depression of one mother’s guilt and grief. Rock-a-bye baby, indeed.


Film Details

The Lullaby - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 96 mins
Director: Darrell Roodt
Writer: Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo
Cast: Brandon Auret (Dr. Timothy Reed), Reine Swart (Chloe van Heerden), Thandi Puren (Ruby van Heerden)
Genre: Horror
Tagline: You'll wish you never brought your baby home
Memorable Movie Quote: "Chloe's back. She has a baby now."
Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment
Official Site: Release Date: March 1, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: Chloe is overwhelmed by the birth of her first child. The incessant crying of her baby, the growing sense of guilt and paranoia sends her into depression. With a heightened urge to protect her son, Chloe sees danger in every situation. She starts to hear voices, the humming of a childhood lullaby and sees flashes of a strange entity around her child. Convinced that the entity is real, Chloe will do everything in her power to protect her son. Is she haunted by evil or is it just the baby blues?


Blu-ray Review

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The Lullaby - Movie Review


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