In a small snowy town inhabited by drug-obsessed Marines rumored to be kidnapping women, Lou is the perfect specimen for the military’s latest chemistry experiment. After a night of life in the fast lane, Lou discovers that she is pregnant. As her body transforms— and decays— at an alarming rate, she begins to have strange visions… in addition to the typical weight gain and morning sickness.
Written and directed by Danny Perez, Antibirth contains an all-star cast with Maxwell McCabe-Lokos (Pay the Ghost), Mark Webber (Green Room, Jessebelle), Meg Tilly (Psycho II), and Chloe Sevigny (American Horror Story). But this acid trip would not be complete without its lead, Natasha Lyonne, who is currently best known for playing everyone’s favorite junkie on the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.
Antibirth pushes the limits on my ability to tolerate gore purely for the sake of gore, but it is overall lacking in story and character development. The motivation and ultimate plan designed by the military is vague at best and Lou does not quite have a sympathetic enough persona to instill concern for her survival. Instead, the only emotion produced by Lou’s grotesque not-of-this-earth experience is repulsion.
Despite Antibirth’s somewhat vague plot, what is clear is that maternal horror is growing into a solid trend in 2016. As such films as Antibirth and Shelley making the festival rounds this year, we are encouraged to examine the alien yet miraculous— but mostly alien— life event of entering motherhood. Lou struggles with the decision of whether to keep her baby (or creature thing) and she fears that something is terribly wrong with her body. Like many films of its kind, Antibirth addresses some of the unnerving anxieties and social issues that come with a pregnancy, especially an unexpected one.
Antibirth will be released on VOD and in limited theaters on September 2nd. If you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you may want to consult your doctor before viewing.