I was excited to go into this horror movie Birth/Rebirth, mainly because I knew it was related to a revival, and I’m a big fan of the campy classic revivals of 1985. That said, I was completely unprepared for how brutal things were going to be. Warning: this film is not for the squeamish.
The film focuses mainly on two women: a pathologist, Rose (Marine Ireland), who spends her free time doing an excellent impersonation of Dr. Frankenstein, and maternity nurse, Celie (Judy Reyes), a single mother just doing her best. After Celie’s daughter dies unexpectedly, Rose jumps at the chance to bring her back to life.
When she learns that her daughter’s body has basically been stolen by this mad scientist, Celie is at first horrified and then intrigued because the experiment seems to be working. As the women begin to work together to care for the revived child, we see their unique approach to medicine and science; The two characters couldn’t be more different and they play off each other so well, it’s really kind of sweet.
The pressure mounts as it becomes harder and harder for the women to find things like stem cells and bone marrow to use to keep the girl alive, and the ethics of how they are obtained only grows more shady.
As you can probably guess, there is a full blood, needles, and medical procedures in this film. While light on jump scares, there’s plenty of Cronenberg-esque body horror to keep you on the edge of your seat (or with your face buried in your hands.)
The description from Sundance reads:
Rose is a pathologist who prefers working with corpses to social interaction. She also has an obsession – reviving the dead. Celie is a maternity nurse whose life revolves around her bouncing 6-year-old daughter, Lila. One fateful day, their lives crashed into each other. The two women and the young girl go down a dark path of no return where they will have to face how far they are willing to go to protect what they love most.
The highly incisive script by Laura Moss and Brendan J. O’Brien reimagines a classic horror myth with such a complete, contemporary understanding that it becomes something exciting, frightening and singularly new. They apply this chilling fantasy to the complex psychologies of their heads, as Judy Reyes, Marin Ireland, and AJ Lister are so convincing. This wonderful directorial debut by Laura Moss is an extremely complex story that is sure to be one of the year’s cerebral blockbusters.