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Still/Born (2018)





Synopsis

Mary, a new mother, gives birth to twins, but only one of them is alive. While taking care of her living child, Adam, she suspects that something, a supernatural entity, has chosen him and will stop at nothing to take him from her.

Review

Matchbox Films have a good track record of films wherein the lead may or may not be losing it. With strong vibes of Homesick, Still/Born sees a mother lose one of two twins during child birth, and her possible breakdown afterwards... or, it could be an evil entity. There's only one way to find out.

You could easily liken the premise of this one to something like Insideous. It's genuinely intriguing, and pretty fresh. It certainly will have you questioning whether there is a monster in the dark or not. As the film progresses forward, Mary becomes more and more unstable, her long suffering husband is doing his best while also trying to support them. He's just hit big business, and they have a new born and new house. He has to leave for work. None of this helps Mary, as she falls further and further from her sanity.




Christie Burke (Love Everlasting) as Mary has a lot to do in this. She carries the film from encounter to encounter, shouldering the bulk of the acting - and what a job she is given. From the opening 'happy new parent' to the unhinged 'do anything to save their child', Burke runs a gauntlet of emotions throughout the film. As a viewer, at times you end up screaming at the screen - she's being so unreasonable towards everyone around her - but at the same time it's all too relate-able. She does a great job too. Her husband, Jack, played by Jesse Moss (Tucker and Dale vs Evil), also holds up his end of the acting chops going from caring husband to insecure, overbearing husband. But again all too believably.

There's also room for a turn by veteran character actor Michael Ironside (Scanners) - in a small but pivotal role.

As the film goes from act to act the tension mounts until it's unbearable - by the end you'll know if it was an evil, or psychosis - but no spoilers here. The ending is fantastic, and truly terrifying.

Written by Brandon Christensen (Black Ice) and Colin Minihan (It Stains the Sands Red), shout out goes to the excellent dialogue - something that has a tendency to be boring and trite in character driven horror, and Christensen sitting in the director's chair also does a good job.

Slow burn, sure, but Still/Born pushes all the right buttons to give the viewer an hour and a half of creeping dread.

(Extra points for not having a slew of jump scares)

Available on DVD now!





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