As with most of director Larry Cohen’s movies, there’s something special about “It’s Alive.” Mind you, it’s a bit slow at times and even with a short running time it feels a little longer than it is. But it’s impressive Cohen was so ahead of his time, developing a socially aware, compelling and thoughtful horror movie around environmental themes during a time where most genre entries exploited those themes for cheap thrills. In addition, lead performers John P. Ryan and Sharon Farrell both tear into their roles with gusto, with Ryan in particular having a series of stand-out moments. The monster effects are charmingly cheesy and there are obvious budgetary drawbacks, but there’s enough here to warrant a serious watch.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)