It's Alive (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

It's Alive (1973)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

It's Alive Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Horror journeyman Larry Cohen, writer and director of numerous quirky horror projects, made his first foray into the genre with this low-budget cult favorite about a murderous mutant baby on a suburban rampage. The story opens with a delivery-room massacre as the newborn child of Frank and Lenore Davies (John P. Ryan and Sharon Farrell) answers the doctor's slap by tearing him to pieces -- along with a few other medical personnel -- before fleeing the hospital for whereabouts unknown. The subsequent hunt for the killer baby creates a rift between Frank, who wants the child destroyed, and Lenore, whose maternal instincts convince her that her child is not deliberately homicidal but merely frightened and defending itself. The baby's bloody rampage continues with several murders (including the creepy scene in which the terrible tyke savages the neighborhood milkman), until it is cornered by Frank and a police task-force. At the crucial moment, Frank has a sudden change of heart and tries to defend the infant from the police. Despite painfully low production values that render the monster scenes a bit silly (Rick Baker's creepy-looking but inarticulate baby model was simply pulled along on a string), Cohen's concept shines through, presenting a skewed but sincere interpretation of family values that could only be pulled off in the horror genre (see also Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes for another example). The script makes passing suggestions that the mutation was a result of an inadequately tested fertility drug, a concept explored more fully in the sequel It Lives Again and quite extensively in the third installment, Island of the Alive.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Larry Cohen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 5, 2004
Warner Home Video


Andrew Duggan
as The Professor
Guy Stockwell
as Bob Clayton
James Dixon
as Lt. Perkins
Michael Ansara
as The Captain
Robert Emhardt
as The Executive
Daniel Holzman
as Chris Davies
Diana Hale
as Secretary
Patrick MacAllister
as Expectant Father
Gerald York
as Expectant Father
Jerry Taft
as Expectant Father
Gwil Richards
as Expectant Father
W. Allen York
as Expectant Father
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for It's Alive

Critic Reviews for It's Alive

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | June 10, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | July 24, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A far-fetched cult thriller.

Full Review… | July 16, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

rather scary little 70s cheap horror

February 12, 2008

Audience Reviews for It's Alive


Whatever you were expecting from this maudlin horror schlock, it doesn't pack much fear into its runtime. Instead the film quickly devolves into a manhunt for the tiny deformed infant. Instead of being framed as a creature feature, it's a film about a runaway baby out to kill all those that get between it and its family. It's hard to believe that anyone would instantaneously believe in the mutated killer baby angle, but they do. Suspense of disbelief is always needed when watching this film. Otherwise, the baby itself isn't even that horrific. Yes, the amazing Rick Baker did the makeup, and the animatronics, but the baby is always half-hidden in shadow. The deaths aren't that authentic or original, the acting is bland, and the set-up is wanting. While the concept may have been unique, and its most infamous scene is worth watching, this is an otherwise run of the mill creature film.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A mother gives birth to a violent mutant baby that goes on a rampage. It's a little silly but watchable comic horror. Most of the kills take place off camera annoyingly leaving you with just the bloody aftermath, but there's brief glimpses of gore now and then. I was also impressed with John P. Ryans performance as the father of the bloodthirsty mutant baby. Didn't like the film as much as I thought I would... dare I check out the remake?

Lee ?

Super Reviewer


This movie is like a sequel to Rosemary's Baby combined with a bio-hazard type movie. I'm not sure whether or not it was a good idea, but it is creepy, and a pretty good horror movie, but it could be better.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

It's Alive Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss It's Alive on our Movie forum!