Baby Snatcher (1992)
My Baby is Missing
A woman's marriage is in tatters as her husband wants a divorce makes a last grasp to save it by saying she is pregnant, except she isn't and in 9 months is faced with a problem and takes desperate measures in order to keep the pretence going. That is the basis of "Baby Snatcher" a movie based on a true story and it is the basis which if you've watched a few TV movies will have stumbled across before as baby snatching is quite a commonly used theme. In the spectrum of these sorts of movies "Baby Snatcher" is no better or worse than any other, some things such as the acting is occasionally shaky whilst the police procedure part is uncomfortable.
Cal Hudson (Michael Madsen) feels suffocated by his marriage to Bianca (Veronica Hamel - When Time Ran Out...) and is preparing to leave her when she conveniently tells him she is pregnant. The truth is she isn't and it is a desperate bid to stop him from going, forcing her to keep up the pretence of being pregnant which becomes even more complicated when she becomes sick due to diabetes and the doctors recommend she has a termination. Meanwhile single mum Karen (Nancy McKeon - Love Begins) is carrying her third child from an affair she is having with David (David Duchovny), her former boss. After the child is born she looks to hire a nanny and asks her mum to take care of things as she has to go back to work. In desperate need of a new born baby Bianca disguises herself and applies for the job, stealing the baby when she turns up for the interview.
If you approach "Baby Snatcher" as a retelling of a true story it will leave you with many questions, such as how when Bianca ended up in hospital after a diabetic collapse the doctors didn't check the health of the baby she says she is carrying. On the same theme you also have to question why Cal, knowing that there are risks for Bianca having a child why he would believe that she could be in and out having a baby whilst he is at work. It is these sorts of things and a fair few others which let the movie down and make it feel at times like a poorly written drama.
But then there is another side to "Baby Snatcher" and that is the immediate events following Bianca stealing Karen's baby as to how the police treat her and David. Again it almost feels like they have tried to make more out of it and turn it into a hard hitting drama but seeing how the police first line is to suspect Karen or David of killing the baby is uncomfortable. It is also hard hitting to see how the media swarm on them, intrusive in their relentless hounding of the story.
As for what actually happens as the story plays out well it is all rather ordinary, well ordinary if you have ever come across another baby snatching movie. It's sort of obvious for the most but unfortunately lacks power because so much attention is placed on how the police treat Karen as a suspected criminal.
As for the acting well it ends up very mixed, Nancy McKeon is brilliant as Karen bringing the stress and pain of having a baby taken to life especially as she tries to deal with her two other children from a previous marriage. And whilst little more than a cameo David Duchovny brings some depth to the character as he is conflicted over what to do as his wife doesn't know of the baby. Unfortunately when it comes to Veronica Hamel and Michael Madsen as Bianca and Cal they are less convincing and seem to over play their parts. Bianca is just too over the top and scheming whilst Cal is almost dumb in his ignorance, if this wasn't based on a true story it might have worked but they seem too fake for a true story movie.
What this all boiled down to is that "Baby Snatcher" ends up familiar for anyone who has watched other baby snatcher themed movies and will end up a mixed bag as part of the story which focuses on Karen works but the other half which focuses on Bianca feels manufactured.
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