I previously watched the remake of It’s Alive, and after watching the 1973 original movie I really don’t think it needed to be remade, because the remake is a million times worse than the original (which wasn’t the best movie itself). The 1973 version of It’s Alive is about a couple who have a monster of a baby. The baby goes on a killing spree to survive and get home to his parents. Frank, the father, feels an incredible desire to destroy the infant, but the mother has other ideas after she returns home and tries to start life back up. Their older son, Charlie, is left in the dark as the parents try to protect him from what happened, but in the end Charlie doesn’t need protection from his baby brother, the rest of the world, they might.
The original version of this movie was very different from the remake. In this version the mother hides the child for a few days in the basement of their house, only wanting to protect him. She doesn’t get to take him home from the hospital because after he slaughters the medical staff he runs in fear, whereas in the remake they take the baby home and find that the only weird things about him are his teeth and his size (he grows incredibly fast). The father in the remake doesn’t seem to take an interest in the movie, and the mother in the remake tries hide her infants murderous deeds by moving and concealing bodies.
One thing I liked about the original is that the father eventually comes around and tried to protect his child, unlike the remake when the mother sets the house on fire, killing herself and her baby. In the original the parents seem to really care for their oldest child, Charlie, while in the remake the kid seems to be left on his own, or he disappears and the audience has no idea what might have happened to him.
Since the original was made in the early 1970’s it is a little bit hokey, but the fun of it is the badly done effects and some of the interesting acting. In fact one of the best lines of the movie came from the lead detective trying to find and destroy the infant. The line was, “Hunting and killing babies doesn’t seem to be my specialty,” and I thought it was the most apropos line in the movie, since how does one justify hunting down and killing an infant, even if it is a homicidal monster?
I actually enjoyed the original version a million times better than the remake, and I thought it not only had a better story, but a better ending. If you haven’t watched it, look for the 1973 version, and skip the 2008 version.