Short Film Review: READY TO BURST (2016)

Pregnancy horror can be a balance of humor, gore and fright. In the short film READY TO BURST, we meet a young couple named Kate and Dylyn, who are dealing with complications that extend beyond the worst morning sickness and stretch marks to something that is truly touching, insane and terrifying. Taking on two different perceptions of the expecting mothers plight and pregnancy, writer, director, co-producer and actress Ariel Hansen creates a “Twilight Zone” style tale where the slowly infecting fetus is a blessing to everyone but the mother.

READY TO BURST is a fun and tension building short film. Hansen’s storytelling of the doctor, ultrasound tech, and father, see the baby through rose colored glasses as they think it is just a normal run of the mill pregnancy with the mother overreacting. This kind of short form film is very welcomed with the slew of very dark and gory pregnancy horror projects that have been coming out over the last few years. Not only does Dylyn (Lee Shorten) as well as the doctor (Malcom Stead) and one of the very talented heads of the production company Luchagore Films and actress Gigi Saul Guerrero (ultrasound tech) handle the deadpan delivery of procedure humor with such ease and precision, it ends up reminding you of the apartment tenants in their unholy bliss in ROSEMARY’S BABY.

READY TO BURST is not without its action and FX makeup as we see Kate progressively get worse starting with simple complications to the point where she resembles the walking dead with dark veins, a swollen belly and wonderfully macabre coloring to her skin and face. Besides the makeup used for Kate, Hansen has smart and symbolic set design within the couple’s apartment which as a reflection on the mother’s situation progressively gets worse and more disgusting, it shatters the illusion mirroring not only the pregnancy but also the couple’s relationship. This short film has a very simple story that punctuates with ample gore, mounting suspense and a gleeful nausea that rises up to the back of the throat as see a certain author’s influence on the new born and a huge smile on the expecting parent.

Jay Kay
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