The successful blogger and happily pregnant Jo (Noémie Merlant) is awaiting the arrival of her first child. But soon after Jo welcomes baby Ruby home, something just doesn’t feel right. Everyone around her keeps telling her this is normal, but as things start to get weirder while night and day overlap, Jo starts to question her own sanity and the seemingly malevolent behaviour of her newborn.
Bess Wohl directs and writes her feature film debut with equilibrium, while also pushing the viewer’s blood pressure levels sky high to the point of cardiac arrest. The bone chilling visuals and honest depiction of the weeks post birth are unique and will make soon-to-be parents queasy and worried about what’s to come.
The immensely talented Noémie Merlant, who recently played a role in the Oscar-nominated TÁR, gives her all and isn’t afraid to dig even deeper than she already did in the odd but sublime Jumbo. Baby Ruby however is a beast of its own. There’s many layers to Merlant’s character in the film, most of which we try to understand while also trying not to cover our ears from the perfect but spine tingling sound design. Kit Harrington (Eternals, Game of Thrones) plays her loving husband in the film, and while he doesn’t get to do a lot with his character, he does a fine job completing the family dynamic.
Baby Ruby doesn’t just crawl under your skin, it makes you question every scene on screen, while also entertaining the hell out of you. Jaw-drops and gasps galore, the film just ticks all the boxes necessary to make a solid psychological postpartum thriller that’ll stick with you far after the haunting French lullaby played over the end credits. Motherhood is messy.
Reviewed online (screener provided by Magnolia Pictures), January 25, 2023. Running time: 93 min.
PRODUCTION: A Magnet Releasing release of a Point Productions & Page Fifty-Four Pictures production. Producers: Brett Beveridge, Lauren Beveridge, Jeffrey Penman & Alex Saks.
CREW: Director/writer: Bess Wohl. Cinematography: Juan Pablo Ramírez. Editing: Jin Lee. Music: Erik Friedlander.
CAST: Noémie Merlant, Kit Harrington, Meredith Hagner, Reed Birney, Jayne Atkinson & Lauren Beveridge.