I think is safe to say that most of us have all had that awkward moment when we wake up after a night of partying with alcohol and other toxic substances without any recollection of the last 8-10 hours or even how we got to wherever place we woke up, but very few of us end up with long-term consequences or a 9-months-installments contract. In this film that is doing its runs in Fantasia Film Fest called ” Antibirth ” we meet Lou, a girl that really likes to party hard, never met a drug she didn’t like, and sees her life change dramatically overnight when she discovers that she might be carrying an unexpected passenger in her womb.
Before you get scared and decide to skip this movie just because you believe it will be a (more) bizarre version of “Juno” or that the film will be pushing a “Pro Choice VS Pro Life” message, I will point out that “Antibirth” is way more than that (Actually, is none of that… but I think you know what I mean). The film is actually a weird ass trippy suspense flick, where Lou (portrayed by Natasha Lyonne, of “American Pie” and TV’s “Night Visions” fame ) will not be debating about who the father of the child might be (We will leave that for some Bridget Jones lady), but instead will be wondering how in the hell she got pregnant when she had not done the horizontal mambo in months… .
Like with any other problem worth reflecting upon, Lou spends her days trying to get to the bottom of… liquor bottles, and indulging in any substance she can get to clear her thoughts (Riiiiight), still, with the help of a clearly disturbed strange woman, she uncovers a mess of secrets and conspiracies that will make the line between myth and reality become increasingly blurred. As days go by and the lump on her abdomen keeps growing in a scary accelerated rate, Luo finds herself without knowing who can she trust, or if she will be able to get out of this unlikely motherhood she had stumbled upon alive.
Right of the bat, I have say that “Antibirth” is not a film for everyone, the pacing is slow, and although we can see clearly where the film is going for (Even without reading this review you can guess, trust me) it takes too long to get there. There are several scenes that try to show us what Lou is thinking (specially while intoxicated) but at times we don’t know if her hallucinations are due what she is putting inside her body or due something else. The film has way too much scenes that are just to establish that Lou “Just doesn’t give a fuck about life” (Something we can guess very early in the film) and it takes too long for the plot to connect with Lorna, the stranger that might (or not) have an idea of what Lou is going thru, by this time, we have already guess that other characters around Lou might know more that they let on, and makes us wonder if the character of Lorna was needed at all.
The visual effects are good, and bizarre enough to keep us interested in the story, in which we actually get several WTF moments with mild doses of gore and blood. The plot as I mentioned earlier is very slow, but it gives us a third act that definitely tries to reward us with a very peculiar outcome that actually works., although I strongly believe that the film could have benefited from a faster pace or if it was 15-20 minutes shorter.
The film was written and directed by Danny Perez (Oddsac) with Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny (#Horror, Zodiac), Meg Tilly, Mark Weber (Green Room, 13 Sins, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) and Maxwell McCabe-Lokos (Pay The Ghost) in the cast.
Fantasia Film Festival is on its 20th edition, and has always been know for showing some of the best films in the Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi genres, currently running thru August 3rd. You can visit their official website to see more of the great material they are showing this year, and follow them in social media.