Antibirth

Antibirth
2 (40%) 2 votes

Antibirth

Written and Directed by: Danny Perez
Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly

Have you ever partied so hard that you can’t remember much of what happened that night? In September 2016, Lou had one of those nights, and now that she’s pregnant, she really wants to know what happened.

Some of the cast is: Natasha Lyonne as Lou, Chloe Sevigny as Sadie, Meg Tilly as Lorna, Mark Webber as Gabriel, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos as Warren and Neville Edwards as Isaac.

When you live in a small town in Michigan there isn’t a lot to do. So, Lou keeps herself busy by partying as much as possible. Tonight, like any other night, Lou and her friend Sadie hit a party and have a good time. The next day Lou doesn’t remember much about what happened that night, but Sadie said everything was cool. Then all of a sudden Lou starts feeling sick and that’s when she finds out she’s pregnant.

As the days pass, Lou’s pregnancy starts to show more and more and that’s when some rather bizarre changes start happening to her body. Are Lou’s weird dreams and flashes trying to tell her something, or is that just another change because of the baby? All this because of a new kind of drug and a night of partying…

This movie is American-Canadian body horror and writer/director Danny Perez’s first feature film. Perez said the reason he created the script was to “subvert a lot of female archetypes,” specifically subverting the idea of how pregnancy is usually depicted as “this image of women as glowing in gestational bliss and being so happy.” “No one really talks about the more gruesome aspects of pregnancy and what it does to the body.” Apparently, Perez was also inspired by various conspiracy theory enthusiasts as well as “weird UFO YouTube videos.” Knowing all of this now explains so, so much about this flick. It doesn’t help make the movie better, but it definitely sheds some light on what Perez was going for with this one.

Awhile back when I caught the trailer for this one I thought “Man, this looks super weird,” and was totally looking forward to catching it. Now, the story that writer Danny Perez came up with was definitely weird, but not the good kind of weird that I thought it was going to be.

Perez did a really good job at showing the less blissful side of pregnancy and threw in a sci-fi twist to make things even weirder. Most of the story is spent with Lou trying to figure out how she got pregnant with a bit of side story about her friend Sadie going on in the background. Sadie’s story doesn’t really go anywhere and only effects the main story a little bit here and there. Then again, there are quite a few times we get things thrown in that seem out of place for the story and end up not building to anything in the end.

Even though the story was an interesting idea, the play-through wasn’t. Yeah, there’s something weird about Lou’s pregnancy, but watching everything unfold was a bit boring. As Lou tries to figure out the mystery we just get to watch a pregnant woman run around getting drunk or high whenever possible, which was as entertaining as it sounds. Also, the lack of time stamps makes it hard to tell when things are happening, but it seems like everything happens in a matter of days.

Another thing I thought hurt the film was the lack of development with the characters. We get a handful of people popping in and out, but barely get to know anything about them. You can really tell where Perez’s focus was and on which characters. Lou and Lorna have a solid backstory, we get more from those two characters in scenes and development, whereas Perez falls short on doing anything with the rest of the characters.

As far as the cast goes, everyone did a good job. All the characters are average everyday people doing life so there really wasn’t much stretching of the imagination when it came to doing the role. Tilly has always been good when playing a crazy or really out there kind of character and here is no different. I’m a fan of Lyonne and yeah I thought she did a good job carrying the lead role, but I thought she did more for the movie than it did for her. Other than that, the rest of the cast is more of a constant pop in and out so they don’t really get the screen time to help or hurt the movie.

I was surprised by Sevigny (who plays Lou’s best friend) not having more of an impact on the movie with her role. Yeah, Sevigny plays a co-starring role, but she never really does anything when she’s around and the side story they have her character running doesn’t ever go anywhere.

The special effects looked good and (bonus) they used practical effects for most of the stuff, even with the monster. Yes, there’s some CGI used but it blended into the scene pretty smoothly and looked decent. Now keep in mind, this is a body horror flick (horror that is principally derived from the graphic destruction or degeneration of the body) so yeah, things get a bit gross from time to time and the birth, well… it’s definitely memorable. Nothing extreme like Cabin Fever, but there are some bloody… and other kinds of scenes.

Side note: Does the movie sound familiar, but you can’t remember if you’ve seen it? Well, that could be due to one of two things. One, it kind of sounds like all the other random sci-fi alien pregnancy flicks, cause there are a “few” of them. Or two, you’ve could have seen it, but your mind is trying to block it out. So, where could you have caught it? Back in September 2016, thanks to IFC Midnight getting the rights, the film had a limited theater release and it could be found on VOD. If you are curious about this one, as of March 2017, you can find it on Netflix.

Overall, when things finally got interesting… it was over. If you skip this one, the world will keep spinning and you wouldn’t have missed out on anything.

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