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FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Baby Money (2021)

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Baby Money Plot

Baby Money starts with a woman named Minny (Danay Garcia) who is pregnant to her boyfriend Gil (Michael Drayer). One small problem though, both of them are extremely broke and need a large amount of money in order to even have this baby let alone raise it. In one big attempt to get the money needed, Minny agrees to be the getaway driver while Gil, Tony (Travis Hammer) and Dom (Joey Kern) do a simple break in to steal something that will get them the money needed for the baby

So, when the simple break-in turns out to be a lot less simple than they thought, Gil and Dom end up going on the run and hiding out in the home of nurse Heidi (Taja V. Simpson) and her son Chris (Vernon Taylor III) while Minny tries to keep out of the cops’; way until she can pick the boys up. Thus begins a night of panic for all concerned, as Heidi tries to keep herself and her son safe while Dom and Gil attempt to figure out how the hell to escape with the money that they worked hard for. 

Baby Money Review

The film is nothing if not immediate when it comes to getting to the point, there isn’t a moment to lose and Baby Money is going to use every second to its advantage. By the 25 minute mark, we’re already in the house that most of the movie will take place in and by that point, the tension is peaking, it’s quick as hell and you better be ready to keep up with it because it has a lot to get through and not much time to do it which makes for one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

For such a simple idea, Baby Money has figured out just how to give enough twists and turns throughout the narrative to keep compelling. Jumping back and forth between the story of the people in Heidi’s house and what Minny does to try and source a car to collect them keeps everything moving wonderfully, and when something new is thrown out that will change things (From the TV announcing the names of one of the robbers to someone in the house having a seizure) the film ratchets up the tension even more.

With the tension ratcheting up every few minutes, what keeps things moving is the incredible performances by the main cast. Everyone here is just great to watch, particularly Heidi who acts as the emotional core of the entire film. There’s also some mild comic delight when Dom and Gil go off to another room to talk about the plans and clearly are not exactly the best at doing this kind of crime, they’re about one step away from just being the Wet Bandits from Home Alone in terms of competence.

FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Baby Money (2021)
FANTASIA 2021 Film Festival Review: Baby Money (2021)

The one person we don’t get to spend as much time with as we probably should’ve is the actual mother of the baby, Minny. There are some very long stretches where I almost forget she was in the film. Sure she makes up for it by having one hell of a presence when she is on screen but it always just feels weird when the person on the poster is effectively a supporting character who hardly does anything to advance most of the plot (again, she’s the getaway driver). She’s wonderfully performed and when she’s on-screen she steals all the attention, she’s just not in it as much as it feels like she should be.

Baby Money Overall

Baby Money is a fast and fun thriller that manages to pull more than a few great shock moments out. It uses its limitations to its advantage, letting the small cast keep things nice and lean while keeping things to mostly one location allows for a constant sense of tension to build throughout. Throw on top of that a clever script and enough twists to keep the audience on their toes right until the last moment, there’s a lot of fun to be had while watching this one. 

Baby Money is available as part of the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival

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