There’s something uncomfortable about the co-existence of newborn babies and demons. Something wrong. Something taboo. That’s what makes this film so deliciously frightening. Director Brandon Christianson blends purity with terror in this devilishly delightful film.
Young mother, Mary (Christie Burke) gives birth to twins but only one of them is alive.
While looking after her remaining child, Adam, she thinks that a supernatural entity, has chosen her child and will stop at nothing to take it from her.
I anticipated Still/Born to be a cheap and nasty horror. I actually found myself jumping on multiple occasions and having to watch an episode of Friends to get to sleep. After watching countless horrors these effects are rare for me. I think this is thanks to an excellent performance by Burke. She is flawless in her portrayal of a mother coming to terms with the grief of loosing a baby. Her slow but evident decent into insanity is nothing short of chilling.
It’s a shame the film doesn’t quite hit the mark at the end and there are moments where you wonder what the intention and overall twist might be. Nope, no twist. Perhaps that was the point? I’m not sure it was a point well made.
The film explores postnatal depression and the helplessness new mothers experience.
Viewers are constantly wondering if the demon she fears is real or simply a result of her illness.
Horrors that deal with mental illness have to be crafted carefully.
Christianson hits the nail on the head with Still/Born. Postnatal depression is handled with care and shines a bright light on the stigma surrounding the illness.
The film is not groundbreaking or one I’d reserve a Friday night for but it certainly is a chilling and unsettling focus on real issues with a supernatural flavour.
– Breana Garratt