Kit Harington and Noémie Merlant are haunted by a monster of their own making: their newborn child.
The “Game of Thrones” alum and “TÁR” star portray a young couple whose influencer status is thrown into disarray after becoming parents in horror film “Baby Ruby,” billed as a “Rosemary’s Baby” for Instagram mommies.
Written and directed by playwright Bess Wohl, “Baby Ruby” centers on Jo (Merlant), a successful lifestyle entrepreneur who is happily pregnant, awaiting the arrival of her first child. But soon after Jo welcomes baby Ruby home, something starts to feel off, even she’s assured it’s all perfectly normal. Is something wrong with her? Is something wrong with Ruby? And why are the seemingly perfect neighborhood moms so desperate to befriend her?
As Jo fights to protect herself and her baby, she is plunged into a waking fever dream where everyone is a threat and nothing is what it seems. At last, she must confront the truth of her own darkness and contend with the ultimate human sacrifice: The one mothers make for their children.
As Jo struggles with postpartum recovery, her mother-in-law (Jayne Atkinson) seems to have a secret agenda to sabotage her parenting. Meanwhile, Spencer (Harington) works as an “ethical butcher” to bring home the bacon…quite literally, and with haunting consequences.
Meredith Hagner, Reed Birney, Lauren Beveridge, Amber Janea, and Camila Canó-Flaviá also star. Magnet Releasing, an arm of Magnolia Pictures, is releasing the film.
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” actress Merlant told The Hollywood Reporter during the film’s 2022 TIFF premiere that the script provided “a lot of possibilities” with the plot. “I had to let it go and not try to think too much. I threw myself into it,” Merlant said. “What I love is that there are a lot of risks in this movie, a lot of scenes that I have never seen really unpacked the way [Wohl] talks about motherhood.”
Harington added that his own experience as a new father allowed him to appreciate how Wohl tapped into the “disorientation of parenting a young child” in the script. “I felt very drawn to it for those reasons,” Harington said. “I like a film that’s not one genre, that’s a mix of things, you can’t really place it. I felt like this was one of those.”
IndieWire’s review praised “Baby Ruby” as a kind of cinematic PSA for “the lack of support for new mothers” around the world. “The veneer of maternal bliss is perpetuated by social media. And there is a silence, encouraged by a culture that too often discounts the work of raising a child as not a career, that makes open conversations surrounding the physical and mental afflictions experienced by mothers rare. Wohl weaves a mystery with so many illusions based in truth, that every fright is haunting and indelible.”
“Baby Ruby” premieres in theaters and VOD February 3. Check out the trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.