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Movie review: 'Hell Baby' condemned by too few laughs

Published September 5, 2013 3:37 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The jaw drops at the drought of laughs in the horror spoof "Hell Baby," especially considering the massive amount of comic talent in front of and behind the cameras.

The mayhem starts when couple Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb) move into their new home in New Orleans, which they learn is haunted and a popular murder spot. Vanessa, eight months pregnant, soon becomes possessed by whatever evil is in the house, prompting a call to the Vatican's crack exorcism team (played by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, the movie's writers and directors).

Garant and Lennon, the brains behind "Reno 911!", let their cast — which includes Keegan Michael Key (of Key & Peele), Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Michael Ian Black and Riki Lindhome (half of the comic duo Garfunkel & Oates) — ad lib relentlessly, with few laughs to show for it. The result is a spoof without spark that's pure hell to sit through.

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H

'Hell Baby'

Opens Friday, Sept. 6, at Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for bloody violence, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use; 94 minutes.