The Cradle (2007)
The Cradle (2007)
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Critic Reviews for The Cradle
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Audience Reviews for The Cradle
*** SPOILERS AHEAD! * * * This is a lovely and sad film about postpartum depression and young parents pressed beyond endurance by factors outside their control. The negative reception of this film by critical viewers was made possible by the film's own misguided promotion as a supernatural horror tale when it is in fact a strong psychological drama with possible paranormal elements. The picture of a creepy old hand poised menacingly over a cradle on the DVD cover invites the wrong viewing audience who will, of course, be disappointed in the film based on their reasonable expectations. My sense is that this storyline began with one plot and someone during the development of the film decided to intertwine another plot that would boost DVD sales. What a mistake that was! The secondary plot of a reclusive old woman haunted by a childhood memory nearly killed this movie. But if you are able to watch the film without anticipating the arrival of a sinister murderous ghost, you will be rewarded by a very different story. I enjoyed this film more the second time I watched it, knowing that what actually happens at the end of the film explains the importance of everything up to that point. If you don't understand or anticipate the actual ending of the original plot without ideas about evil spirits filling your mind, yes, the film moves too slowly and goes nowhere. But if you are anticipate the acutal ending, you will know that the film was paced perfectly! PLOT: Frank and Julie have lost their previous babies to miscarriage or stillbirth. Finally a baby boy, Sam, is born alive, but Julie is so scarred by her previous losses that she cannot bond with the surviving boy. She falls into a deep and disabling postpartum depression. Frank (played beautifully by the earnest Lukas Haas) wants to be part of a normal young family starting out fresh with their firstborn son. Perhaps in desperation to realize his dream, he brings his depressed wife and infant son to an isolated country home hoping that the relaxing environment will alleviate Julie's symptoms and allow her over time to bond with their baby. OK, enough warnings, here come the SPOILERS: The baby tragically dies (SIDS?) within the first few days of the family's arrival to their new country home. Frank is outside the house when Sam dies. When he returns indoors, he finds his dead son covered by a blanket. Carefully laid atop the blanket is a necklace, the gift he had just given Juli in appreciation of her new motherhood. It is at this point that Sam dives into a psychotic break with reality, beginning with his delusion that his son is still alive. Nearly everything that happens in the film after he discovers his dead son is either hallucination or psychotic delusion. He refuses to accept that Sam is dead. He also refuses to accept that Julie has taken her own life after discovering Sam's dead body in the cradle. He blocks out the fact that he discovered her dead body at the bottom of the waterfalls the night that Sam died. Frank exists in a dark nightmarish world where Sam lives, smiles and coos like any normal baby and Julie continues to struggle bravely with her postpartum depression. In Frank's mind, Julie at first refuses but later insists on caring for Sam. The seemingly paranormal events are probably creations of Frank's psychosis. The psychosis is mixed with actual dreams of how Sam dies. Finally, there may be a haunting in this film, but it is not the evil sister spirit. There is the possibility that Julie's ghost is real to the plot. In this reading of the film, Julie's ghost yearns for reconciliation with her dead infant, but Frank's unwillingness to accept the fact that Sam is dead somehow interferes with Julie's ability to care for Sam in a ghostly afterworld. Haas's portrayal of Frank's sweetness, confusion and great love for his family are what carry this film and make it well worth watching twice. The unnecessary melodrama involoving the old woman and her dead sister keep trying to pull the film under. If only director Brown had not made the old woman's character so frightening, strange and hysterical, The Cradle could have been a really good movie, possibly an 8. All we really needed from this character is a little history of her losses. Her key role in the plot is being the person who forces Frank to realize that his baby has been dead for several days. Brown didn't need to use the old woman to create a supernatural horror plot to wrap around the film's neck to strangle it before it could be born. I hope someday Brown edits this film so that it can emerge as the endearing sad story that makes it memorable.
it was a little to errie didnt really explain what was going on and i didnt understand what happened to the baby or his wife
Couldn't be drawn out any longer, not much explanation in the beginning of the movie, so you really don't understand what is going on until you read the plot on flixster.
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