Review: Cynthia (Abort and Hide From This Monster)

[Loudly drinks my water and looks around, grimacing] Guys, I really dislike handing out negative film reviews. Especially working in the indie horror field, I can almost always appreciate the love that goes into making a movie, thus I can also focus on the positives instead of the negatives. In the case of Cynthia, well, I was let down on every occasion and this movie missed the mark at every turn. I had high hopes going into the movie, mostly due to the presence of scream queen Scout Taylor-Compton, but…this just wasn’t very good. I’ll go into more detail after I run through the key information. Produced by Gage/Downs Films and presented by Girls and Corpses, Cynthia follows a young married couple, Robin and Michael, as they try to conceive their first child. After a series of setbacks, they’re finally blessed with a baby, though complications arise during the second trimester. Then, once the baby is born, all Hell breaks loose and the miracle baby becomes the family’s worst nightmare. Based on the screenplay by Robert Rhine and directed by Devon Downs & Kenny Gage, Cynthia stars Scout Taylor-Compton, Kyle Jones, Rebecca Marshall, Sid Haig, James William O’Halloran, Robert Rhine, Bill Moseley, Lynn Lowry, Robert Lasardo and Andra Pagana. A picture perfect life is thrown into gory madness in Cynthia, which then turned into a clusterfuck of a movie.

Going with a metaphor that best fits this movie, Cynthia failed while it was still in its infancy. Despite the collaborative effort between Devon Downs, Kenny Gage and Robert Rhine, the movie never had a clear direction. As a viewer, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to take it seriously or look at it more as a comedy? Both, a horror-comedy? If I’m going with option number three, Cynthia failed to be anything remotely close to funny outside of some dry humor and crude language. And as far as horror goes, a mutated, fetus-like creature killing people is far from scary. So, it failed in that genre as well. It was all just…weird, and I can usually get behind that, but this movie has 0% atmosphere and scores that are underwhelming. I hate to use the word dumb, but Cynthia was dumb, and not even in the “turn off your brain and enjoy” kind of dumb. At the start, I thought I was going to see something like Rosemary’s Baby meets Demon Baby, but all that I ended up watching was garbage. Let me not forget to mention how the crew/editing team went way overboard with foley; going so far as to highlight a character pissing. Was this a monster movie? A gay comedy? I don’t know. I can confirm, though, that it was a disaster and lacks any form of cohesiveness.

And what a waste of talent. Scout Taylor-Compton emerged as a top scream queen since Rob Zombie’s Halloween and stepped up her game in recent years in Ferral and Ghost House. Cynthia was a step backwards, and I was so hoping to see her dive into deeper territory such as a young woman struggling to get pregnant and then as a young mother suffering from postpartum depression. Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Robert Lasardo (Death Race), Rebecca Marsall (Saw 3D) and Lynn Lowry (The Crazies) are talented, noteworthy celebrities within the horror genre and they were absolutely wasted in this movie. If the movie was more serious, they absolutely would have turned out incredible performances that would have highlighted tougher subject material. Although, I will say it was nice to see Sid Haig playing a serious cop instead of a murderous psychopathic, for a change! I feel terrible ripping this movie to shreds because I can see some talent in the writer, directors, and producers. They have a lot of decent credits to their resumes, too, but this movie never found its mood and suffered from lack of defining itself as either horror or comedy. Cynthia is currently available on digital and DVD via Indican Pictures, but I can’t recommend this movie to anyone in good faith. Sorry, team.

Final Score: 4 out of 10

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)