Thursday, 28 April 2016

Dead By Dawn 2016: Antibirth (2016)

I started off laughing at Antibirth. It wasn't exactly a hard film to find amusing. But then it keeps on going and I just found myself laughing less. And less. And less. Until I eventually stopped. But still the movie kept going, throwing quirky black comedy beat after quirky black comedy beat at me. The last ten minutes or so put a smile back on my face, but that still wasn't enough to make up for the preceding 80+ minutes (that felt much longer to me).

Natasha Lyonne plays Lou, a young woman who spends her time getting drunk, stoned, or drunk and stoned. Chloe Sevigny is her best friend, and seems to enjoy spending a lot of her time the same way. And another couple of plot strands feature Mark Webber as a supplier of drugs and girls while Meg Tilly pops up to portray a character I can't even be bothered explaining. I'm sorry. I really can't. She's not exactly Miss Exposition, I guess, but she's certainly not far from it. Anyway, let's get back to Lou. Things get very interesting for her when she finds out that she's pregnant. Unfortunately, she cannot recall how this happened. In fact, she's pretty sure that it shouldn't actually BE happening to her. Has she blanked out during a sex session that led to her impregnation? Or is the explanation a stranger one?

Writer-director Danny Perez sure knows how to enjoy himself. Thankfully, there are times when that enjoyment seeps off the screen. It just doesn't happen as often as it should, or as often as it needs to. And he wears away your goodwill by piling on the quick cuts and clumsy editing as things become more frenetic and strange en route to the finale. Lyonne help to make things bearable, she's always fairly enjoyable and this is just the right type of role that lets her shine, as does Sevigny, Webber, and even Tilly (despite her thankless role I was just happy to see her again - not sure what else she's been doing lately but it's not been on my radar anyway).

If you like your horror to be less horrifying and more steeped in surrealism then this might just be a little cracker for you. And the practical effects used in the final, wild scenes almost make up for everything that has come along beforehand. Unfirtunately, this just didn't strike a chord with me at all. Which left me sitting there in growing discomfort and gloom while others laughed at the collection of disconnected moments of weirdness.

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