When the Bough Breaks is a 2016 American psychological thriller film directed by Jon Cassar and written by Jack Olsen, starring Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall, Theo Rossi and Jaz Sinclair.


John and Laura Taylor (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall) are a young, professional couple who desperately want a baby and after exhausting all other options, they finally hire Anna (Jaz Sinclair), the perfect young woman to be their surrogate, but as she gets further along in her pregnancy, so does her psychotic and dangerous fixation on the husband.

The couple becomes caught up in Anna’s deadly game and must fight to regain control of their future before it’s too late.


  • Morris Chestnut as John Taylor
  • Regina Hall as Laura Taylor
  • Jaz Sinclair as Anna
  • Theo Rossi as Mike
  • Romany Malco as Todd
  • Michael K. Williams as Roland
  • GiGi Erneta as Dr. Grace Park


On October 29, 2014, Sony's Screen Gems hired Jon Cassar to direct "When the Bough Breaks" which Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne were set to produce.

On November 18, 2014, Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall were added to the cast to play the lead roles. On December 16, 2014, Jaz Sinclair signed on to star in the film. On January 8, 2015, Theo Rossi was added to the film.

The film's production was first set to begin in late-January 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Filming began on February 2, 2015 in New Orleans and it was later confirmed by Screen Gems on February 11. Filming was taken place on St. Charles Avenue in early March and was scheduled to end in mid-March 2015.


On March 30, 2015, Screen Gems announced that "When the Bough Breaks" was to be released on September 16, 2016.

On April 13, 2016, Sony Pictures released the first trailer for the film. In May 2016, the release date was moved up to September 9, 2016.

Box OfficeEdit

In the United States, "When the Bough Breaks" was released on September 9, 2016, alongside "The Disappointments Room", "Sully" and "The Wild Life" with the studio projecting it to gross $10–12 million from 2,246 theaters in its opening weekend.

However, some publications had film opening to $16–20 million, with some going as high as $25 million.

"When the Bough Breaks" grossed $5.3 million on its first day and $15 million in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"When the Bough Breaks" received negative reviews from critics.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 0% (based on 9 reviews) with an average rating of 3.5/10.

On Metacritic, it has a score of 30 out of 100, based on 7 critics (indicating "generally unfavorable reviews"). According to CinemaScore, audiences gave it an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.

Many critics compared "When the Bough Breaks" to made-for-television films typically produced by Lifetime.

Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times criticized Jon Cassar's direction, suggesting that "Hollywood needs to give the reductive, crazy, sex-obsessed female character a permanent rest."

In a review for, Nick Allen criticized the film's premise as "morally tasteless," writing, "Despite the story’s initially completely baffling but welcome focus on characters for a change, the movie is baffled by the requirement of motivation, instead wanting to honor ideas of obsession while finding a way to get some dead body insert shots into the mix."


When the Bough Breaks (Official Trailer)

When the Bough Breaks (Official Trailer)

When the Bough Breaks Official Trailer 1 (2016)

When the Bough Breaks Official Trailer 1 (2016)

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