IT’S ALIVE (2008) Reviews and overview

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It’s Alive is a 2008 straight-to-DVD remake of Larry Cohen’s 1974 horror film of the same name. It was directed by Josef Rusnak from a screenplay by Cohen, Paul Sopocy and James Portolese.

The film stars Bijou Phillips, James Murray, Raphaël Coleman, Owen Teale, Skye Bennett and Ty Glaser.

Officially released straight-to-DVD on October 6, 2009, it is available in both rated and unrated editions.

Interviewed by Films in Review regarding the remake on December 21, 2009  Larry Cohen gave it a negative review, saying “It’s a terrible picture. It’s just beyond awful” and “I would advise anybody who likes my film to cross the street and avoid seeing the new enchilada.”

Just before the end of her semester at college, Lenore Harker (Bijou Phillips) leaves to have a baby with her architect boyfriend, Frank (James Murray) at his remote log cabin. After discovering the baby has doubled in size in just a month, doctors decide to extract the baby by caesarian section, although Frank is not present.

As the doctor cuts the umbilical cord, the newborn goes on a rampage, killing every doctor and nurse in the operating room. When the film cuts back to the new mother, the baby is asleep on her stomach and the room is covered with blood.


After questioning by the police, Lenore is allowed to take the baby home. Authorities arrange for a psychologist to help her regain her memory of the delivery. Soon, baby Daniel bites Lenore when she’s feeding him, revealing his taste for blood…



“Cohen’s film was slightly awkward at times due to some ill-fitting comedic bits, but this one is played completely straight (as long as you consider Bijou Phillips’ performance and the occasional kill shot to be “straight”). And I like the angle that they went for, which is that the mother felt a responsibility to the child, possibly brought on by guilty feelings of trying to abort it…” Horror Movie a Day

“Whilst It’s Alive is reasonably well-acted and the production is above average, it isn’t scary – at all! Barely any of the deaths are shown, and what we do see is comical, and not intentionally so. The writers try to present us with a reason for Daniel’s blood hungry ways, but I didn’t buy it, and neither will you.” Stalk ‘n’ Slash

“Mediocre film with a few nice bits of gore. It tries to be all creepy and intense but it’s mostly laughable and nothing special.” The Girl Who Loves Horror


‘If it has a pulse and gets close enough, it’s going to die. And it’s going to die in a flood of gushing blood and gore.  That’s right, in place of the compelling characters and nuanced motives from the original film, the remake just offers up frenetic gore.’ Matt Wedge, Obsessive Movie Nerd

‘Bijou Phillips… lacks the presence let alone the gravitas to carry off the tragedy of having created her own monster, and so the film’s examination of maternity and madness falls short’ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies


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Cast and characters:

  • Bijou Phillips as Lenore Harker
  • James Murray as Frank Davis
  • Raphaël Coleman as Chris Davis
  • Owen Teale as Sgt. Perkins
  • Ty Glaser as Marnie
  • Oliver Coopersmith as Mike
  • Ioan Lov as Adam
  • Jack Ellis as Prof. Baldwin
  • Skye Bennett as Nicole
  • Arkie Reece as Perry
  • Todd Jensen as Doctor Orbinson
  • Marianna Stanicheva as Nurse #1
  • Alexis Bergemann as Nurse #2
  • Michal Yannai as Wrinkled Nurse
  • Gergana Buzukova as Thin Nurse
  • Vlado Mihailov as Male Nurse
  • Meglena Karalambova as Duty Nurse
  • Vesko Razpopov as Orderly #1
  • Atanas Srebrev as Officer
  • Michael McCoy as Hospital Security Guard
  • Dimitar Shopov as K-9 Officer
  • Violeta Markovska as Julie
  • Sigal Diamant as Maternity Nurse
  • Douglas Reno as Hospital Official
  • Mike Straub as Animal Handler
  • Mark W. Johnson as Lead Cop
  • Sofia Vasileva as Young Nurse
  • Miroslav Emilov as Officer #2
  • Laura Giosh as Officer Marcos
  • Vladimir Koev as Doctor [uncredited]

Filming locations:




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