Monday, October 31, 2016

When The Bough Breaks (2016)

 Jon Cassar

 Jack Olsen


Morris Chestnut
Regina Hall
Michael Kenneth Williams
Theo Rossi
Jaz Sinclair
Romany Malco
Glenn Morshower
Denise Gossett
GiGi Erneta
Tom Nowicki


A wealthy couple who are unable to conceive a child, decide to use the help of a new young surrogate mother. After their surrogate is abused by her current boyfriend, the wealthy couple decides to take her out of that environment and into their own home to protect her and their new baby. Soon they discover that the surrogate mother has a much darker past when she begins to become obsessed with the father of the baby growing inside of her.

When it comes to the obsession based thriller, they aren't a new concept in the realm of cinema. We have had so many of these type of films over the years that they rarely break any new ground. The most well known of these movies would be Single White Female, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Fear, Fatal Attraction, and Obsession. Going into When The Bough Breaks, I was already expecting a movie that would be very by the numbers. I was hoping that I at least got some decent bloodshed.

After watching When The Bough Breaks. I discovered that it's a movie that follows the formula very closely. The movie never tries for anything new with the story. It's pretty predictable from the first moments right up until the last. We are well aware of where this movie is going to end up heading. The film is almost beat for beat along the lines of those other films that I mentioned. It never really strives to be anything other than by the numbers.

The most significant shock in When The Bough Breaks comes at the end of the movie. When this movie ends, I just couldn't believe they ended the story the way they did. [SPOILERS] The movie ends with the wealthy couple managing to kill their surrogate and taking the baby as if everyone is going to play happy family now. The movie then rolls the closing credits, and I was left with my jaw on the floor as to just how poorly executed the film turned out.

The movie spends a good chunk of its third act explaining that the wealthy couple is unable to directly take the baby when the surrogate turns all 'bunny boiler' on them and she hasn't signed the baby over to them. So the baby is still the surrogates until she signs it over. The movie sees the wealthy couple kill her in cold blood after they have kidnapped her child and she retaliates to get her baby back. As the cops show up, the father-to-be turns to his wife and says 'It will be alright' and the movie ends.

Earlier on, we find out that the surrogate mother had murdered her stepfather after he had molested her in her youth. This surrogate was raped by her foster fathers and all the men who showed her any love. Being that she is obsessed and mentally ill, the story is saying that if you're wealthy, it's okay to murder a mentally ill person in cold-blood and steal her baby. That's what I got from When The Bough Breaks. I still can't understand how the writer and director saw this as an excellent way to end the film. There was no legality to it at all.

The acting in When The Bough Breaks was one of the only things that I can say that I enjoyed about the film. Regina Hall who is well known for playing Brenda in the Scary Movie franchise is decent in her role as a woman who is unable to have a baby. I felt her pain throughout the film. Jaz Sinclair as the young surrogate mother is an actress who I haven't seen before but playing crazy; she does it very well. Morris Chestnut and Michael Kenneth Williams are decent in their roles as well.

When it comes to the movie delivering thrills, the movie is pretty barren. Yes, that pun was very much intended. The film isn't terrifying nor did it ever have me on the edge of my seat. The movie tries to deliver some gore and bloodshed amongst all the stalking and craziness, but it's never really scary at all. The film lacks on all fronts. I think had the movie delivered some more violence, and even several jump scares, It may have been a little more enjoyable.

Visually, When The Bough Breaks is slick and polished looking. The movie has some solid production, and the film looks very well made for an average thriller. I can't fault director Jon Cassar as he has delivered a decent looking movie. It's just a shame that everything else about the movie really can't match up to the polished look of the film. The ten million dollar budget clearly went into the locations and sets.



- A woman is beaten up.
- We see domestic violence.
- A man is repeatedly stabbed and slashed.
- A man is shown to have been stabbed to death with scissors.
- A man is seen decomposing on the floor.
- A cat is shown dead in a crib.
- Two women are seen beating each other up.
- A man is stabbed with a hook.
- A woman is thrown through a glass cabinet.
- A woman is hit and killed by a speeding car.

When The Bough Breaks is nothing more than your run-of-the-mill obsession thriller. This movie could've been made for the Lifetime channel. The movie has possibly the worst ending for a movie that I've seen in 2016. I'm actually shocked that the writer thought the end wouldn't be hated and questioned. It really is unbelievably bad. To end with a cold-blooded murder and have no questions asked is terrible. One of the worst movies I've seen in 2016.

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