Sunday, November 13, 2016

Antibirth


   Only at around 43 minutes into director Danny Perez's nasty little flick does the body horror start to show up. I'd love to say it was worth the wait, but I'm just not sure. Antibirth has so much potential, and I really dug the story, but even as I'm writing this I'm struggling with whether or not it's worth recommending, because I'm still wondering whether or not it was worth watching in the first place. Antibirth is about a woman named Lou, a total party animal- drugs, alcohol, hangovers, repeat. None of this is glamorized in the slightest, mind you. It's all super trashy and dirty-looking. I guess that's emblematic of the movie itself, but hey, what do I know?

   The movie is touted as a body horror flick, and I get that, but it drags like a motherfucker. There's no way to soft pedal that fact. There's way too many scenes of Lou and her friend just prattling on and on about pointless bullshit. They're not characters who're exactly 'fun' to watch. I was just dying for the plot to fucking progress, but it was determined to just... not. Like I said, the body horror elements don't actually kick in until about 43 minutes in. Once they do, the plot has a bit more of a forward moving thrust, but even then. Antibirth feels like a 20 minute short film stretched out into a 90ish minute movie.

   It has stretch marks all over it, and they're seriously unsightly. Stuff just doesn't make sense, characters who apparently know each other, act like total strangers in the very previous scene. Pointless symbolism abound, and the twist is mind numbingly absurd even if you see it coming. The actors mostly do fine, and despite the fact the movie tries to pass Lou off like she's not the architect of her own demise (she totally is), she's somewhat endearing. But, the villain(s?) aren't really given much to do, or at least not enough to be considered villains. Even when the twist is revealed, it's too little, too late.

   When the movie's acid trip visuals kicked in, finally, and it let loose it's Cronenbergian body horror, I was seriously enjoying it. I love weird and wild stuff, and at times, Antibirth is just that. The problem is that all too frequently it just isn't. All of it's freakiness is primarily jam packed into the last 15 minutes, and that's being generous. The movie is anything but economical, and as such I felt like it failed to deliver on it's central selling point. I wish there was more to analyze or discuss, but there really isn't. The movie is random at best, and lethargic at worst. If you manage to start giving a shit about any of the characters, the movie doesn't reward for that either.

    The ending of Antibirth is just as flat and headache-inducing as the rest of the movie, and this is at a point when most of the movie's grotesque imagery is in full swing. I was really excited to see this movie, but ultimately, I just feel kind of indifferent about it now. I wanted it to be really good, but I'm just not sure. I don't recommend it at this point, there's so many better 'weird' movies you could dig on, and there's really no point in watching this one. If you wanna see an unnerving movie about birth? Rosemary's Baby has had you covered for like, 48 years. Wanna see a flat-out weird druggy flick? Altered States. Skip Antibirth, I don't think it's worth it.

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