Series Mania 2022 - The Baby, motherhood as a horror movie [critique]

Michelle de Swarte received the award for best actress for this dark comedy about a haunted baby and a woman who didn’t want to be a mother.

Natasha (Michelle De Swarte) can’t take it anymore to see all her friends turn into mothers. This 38-year-old single Londoner never wanted a baby. But fate will decide otherwise: while she is spending a weekend out of town, a newborn will literally fall into her arms. Except that the adorable little bundle of joy seems haunted, capable of driving people to suicide or murdering them with mysterious powers as soon as Natasha loses sight of him for five minutes. This baby absolutely wants to stay close to her. But where does it come from? What does he want ? And how far will Natacha have to go to regain control of her life?

Funny mini-series in eight episodes (three were shown at Series Mania), The Baby fueled by breaks in tone, somewhere between black comedy, pure drama and semi-gore horrific parody. Often funny and always self-aware, the project functions as a succession of metaphors for postpartum depression, the anguish of motherhood and the pressure that society puts on women who have no desire to ‘have a baby. Great idea mostly held together, with each episode focusing on a particular angle, with a strong sense of pacing and suspense. Horror becomes the outlet of the maternal condition, chosen or imposed. The problem is that The Baby seems to have covered the subject in an hour and a half (the episodes are thirty minutes long). Hoping that this HBO and SKY co-production still has enough underfoot to surprise us.

The Baby, 8 x 30 minutes, from April 24 on HBO and certainly in US+24 on OCS at home.

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