A suspenseful melodrama about an unorthodox family unit, “Baby” represents a slick but distancing feature debut for German commercials and musicvideo director Philipp Stolzl, who made clips for Rammstein, Faith No More, Garbage and Madonna, among others. Blighted by a script that fails to create even one engaging character with any evident emotional transition, the film aims for a droll, dark register but comes off as merely smug and cold. Despite definite bigscreen production values, Eurotube destinations will be more accommodating.
Survivors of a tragic accident in which their wives were killed, best friends Paul (Lars Rudolph) and Frank (Filip Peeters) live with Frank’s daughter, Lily (Alice Dwyer), in relative harmony. But Lily destroys the balance by seducing Paul and getting pregnant. When clueless Frank kills the boy he believes is responsible, Lily and Paul flee to the Dutch coast, scene of the accident 13 years earlier. Escaping from prison, Frank goes after them, his revenge instincts waging inner war with parental and friendship bonds. Despite sharp editing and an able cast, the stylishly shot production merely grinds along without really going anywhere.