Celluloid Screams Review: Antibirth

Women have traditionally fared badly in horror films. Staying alive is one thing, but if they manage to keep their clothes on for the duration, it’s a minor miracle. Not to mention being hacked, slashed and tortured, often simply for the pleasure of the audience. You’ll find no lady-like behaviour on show in In Danny Perez’s new film Antibirth. Instead, he’s made a warts and all movie where body horror and oestrogen take centre stage.

Lou (Natasha Lyonne) lives in a small town. Along with her best friend Sadie (Chloë Sevigny), she spends all her time living a drug and alcohol fuelled hedonistic lifestyle; whether that’s partying or getting wasted in the pit she calls home. Lou’s memory is blank after a party (not an unusual occurrence by any means), but she can’t shake the feeling that she’s pregnant. No one believes her except fpr Lorna (Meg Tilly), a mysterious stranger obsessed with conspiracy theories.

Antibirth is like no other film you’ll ever see. It’s as lurid as a Baz Luhrmann movie with a cast of characters who are uniformly abhorrent. Perez vibes off Jacob’s Ladder as Lou’s sense of paranoia progressively heightens and Meg Tilly arrives at just the right time to keep things on track. Antibirth is a film you should hate, but remarkably the cast, direction and writing are so good that it ends up being an often hilarious, mostly revolting, yet inexplicably entertaining ride.

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