Smalltown, USA. The local party girl and recreational drug-user by excellence finds herself afflicted with an odd illness after a particularly crazy party. Little does she know, she seems to be pregnant with a parasitic being growing at a high rate and affecting all facets of her life.
Writer/director Danny Perez builds a truly weird story that starts off with two party girls just doing their thing and builds on the WTF until it reaches its highest possible level, and then he keeps going further. He creates a tale of pregnancy horror that pushes the envelope of such stories successfully. The characters he builds are not entirely likable or unlikable, but the viewer ends up wanting to know what happens to them, how they got in their situations, how they’ll get out, mainly for lead character Lou.
In the part of Lou is Natasha Lyonne who is absolutely perfect in the part. The way she shows Lou’s reactions to being pregnant without knowing how it happened and with a faster than normal growth rate is almost logical, Lou is a heavy drug user who definitely was not planning on getting pregnant, her reaction to it is what would be considered normal in this situation for a character like her. Her acting is on point and adds a lot to the character. Playing Lou’s best friend Sadie is Chloe Sevigny who also does well.
Through Sadie’s partying, she still manages to be somewhat the voice of reason. Sevigny plays this part well, bringing some form of normalcy to the proceedings. Giving an interesting performance is Meg Tilly who is almost unrecognizable as Lorna, a seemingly homeless and deranged woman, who knows more than she shows. She brings a different shade of crazy that might not be as crazy as most think. Tilly plays this very well and just joins in the madness.
Antibirth is a well done pregnancy horror film with some truly gross special effects. The pregnant belly is well done, looks realistic considering the circumstances. Then the effects are majorly ramped up for the ending, bringing the weird and gross to a whole new level. The effects team that put these together was led by special effects coordinator James Sled. The effects are well done, gooey, and gross. The pregnant belly might not be gross to everyone, but the rest of the effects should work on everybody.
The film has a very specific look, a visually loud look with busy backgrounds and colorful people framed by cinematography by Rudolf Blahacek. The film has the perfect style and look to go with its crazy story and characters. Set decorator Louise Bergeron did a fantastic job, particularly with Lou’s trailer. The place is a perfect mess that represents Lou’s personality and inner turmoil.
Antibirth takes the WTF factor and turns it up to eleven while boasting good performances, gross effects, and a crazy and appropriate look. The film keeps you guessing and wanting to know where it’s all going. It’s a pregnancy horror film that is well done, less classy than films like Shelley or Rosemary’s Baby but it’s entertaining and its trashy side adds to the goodness and nonsense of the proceedings. The film is nuts and fun because of it.
Here are a few short films to whet your appetite for the full feature:
“Lazarus Psychic Reverd”: https://youtu.be/V2mWGL8e4KE
“Extreme Cops”: https://youtu.be/I-VL41qj2nQ