I didn’t have too much hope for ‘When the Bough Breaks.’ Though I saw a few different versions of the trailer, they all looked the same: a couple who can’t have a baby find a surrogate who then tries to seduce the husband using the baby as leverage. It seemed like many temptress-themed movies, although the baby did add an interesting element to it.
It ended up being both good and bad that the trailers only included these few details in it. On one hand, I had almost no interest in seeing it and, had it not been for one of my friends, I probably wouldn’t have seen it at all. That being said, there were several plot points that would have been surprising to anyone who had simply seen the trailers; these details didn’t change the inevitable showdown that was to come, but it made the journey of getting there much more enjoyable.
The film had the proper and usual amount of startling moments for a thriller, but more than anything it was just plain creepy, which was great! From the abusive boyfriend to our temptress’s surprising history, to the constantly unreciprocated nudity (quite a lot for PG-13, though nothing is actually shown of course) I was more uncomfortable than I have been in a long time when I saw this film. There is a perfect amount of blood in the film to make you squirm a bit in your seat without being overkill, and the actors work well together.
Theo Rossi, who plays Anna’s boyfriend, does an absolutely great job of being the creepiest character ever. He gives off the something’s-not-quite-right scumbag feeling before the audience even knows anything is really wrong with him, and it works perfectly. Although Rossi and the rest of the cast members each stood out in their own way, the real star of the movie is obviously Jaz Sinclair. Her sweetness as Anna (the surrogate) suckers in the audience right away, and this feeling only grows when we see what a toxic relationship she is in. We may see some of the warning signs in her long stares at the happy couple before they even begin to suspect anything, but Anna plays just dumb and innocent enough to get away with quite a bit before the real red flags start popping up. It’s brilliant and a great performance for an actress with very little experience.
The whole film works well as your typical thriller, and although you may leave the theater feeling a sense of discomfort, the hour and a half you spend in it is entertaining enough. I wouldn’t see it again, but it’s a great break from the flow of raunchy comedies, sci-fi flicks, and superhero films the theaters have been flooded with lately.