Hey again you fantastic freaks and lovers of all things horror! I’m back again with another review of a film that is outside of my usual taste. This time, we venture into the real of dark entities and mother’s nightmare in Brandon Christensen’s STILL/BORN.
STILL/BORN centers around a couple who give birth to twins and only one survives. Shortly after, the mother begins to experience hellish hallucinations and contact with something extremely sinister.
The general idea behind this film is actually quite terrifying. I myself am not a parent, but I couldn’t even fathom the pain of experiencing the loss of a child, let alone a stillbirth. That’s why tying a supernatural element into this situation makes it so much more disturbing and terrifying. I’m not a huge fan of the current state of the paranormal genre; however, STILL/BORN steps outside of the real of the current state of ‘creepy ghost’ movies.
Mary, played by Christie Burke, gave a stellar performance. As any mother would trudge through life trying to be there for her newborn, there would also be a blanket of darkness and despair as you cared for a child you know lived while the other passed. Mary gave just that. I never felt that she overacted during her performance which is something that you often come across when checking out indie horror. Mary’s husband, Jack, played by Jesse Moss, gave the necessary performance of a concerned workaholic husband doing his best to be there for his mentally deteriorating wife.
One thing about this film that really caught my attention was the fact that it actually scared me. Granted some of the scares were cheap and by that I mean ‘jumpy’ but regardless, it was still very effective. As I watched this evil entity begin to consume Mary’s vision and decision making, it was highly disturbing and gave me this extreme feeling of dread. One thing that was typical in this film was the notion of the ‘protagonist’ losing her mind and the husband not believing her situation. However, that played out in such a satisfyingly disgusting manner.
The effects of the ‘evil entity’ were all computer animated which I typically find hard to enjoy, but I think they laid on the creepy factor thick enough to make it believable. All of the supernatural moments you see in the film are mostly on baby Adam’s baby monitor, which is pure nightmare fuel if you ask me. I think they hit the nail on the head of taking something that I’m sure parents with overactive imaginations think of when checking on a visual baby monitor, or even a standard audio monitor. I know that it made my skin crawl at certain points.
Wrapping up, I think that STILL/BORN definitely finds itself in its own cozy niche of the horror genre. Though the ending may not be all rainbows and butterflies that it something we always look for as a horror fan and what sets us aside from every other movie fan. I recommend checking out this film by yourself with the sound turned up, maybe in a dark room. Really set the atmosphere to get the shit scared out of you because this film is a fun one.
STILL/BORN arrives in select theaters and On Demand February 9th
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- [Indie Memphis Film Festival Review] THE PILL - October 27, 2021