There are many intensely emotional issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth including huge anxiety and stress surrounding the unknown, self-doubt around whether you’re ready to become a parent and fear regarding giving birth to a healthy child. Antenatal and postnatal depression are growing problems and it’s hard to even contemplate the trauma miscarriage can cause. David Farr’s film The Ones Below plays on these themes to make an intelligent, if somewhat unbalanced, psychological thriller.
After waiting until they felt ready, Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) are expecting their first child. They’re both excited and scared. Theresa (Laura Birn) and Jon (David Morrissey) move in downstairs and it seems to be a perfect match. Theresa is also pregnant and strikes up a friendship with the lonely Kate who is starting to feel isolated as Justin always seems to be working. However, after they lose their baby, Kate becomes increasingly paranoid about their intentions towards her.
Where The Ones Below works best is when it’s blurring the lines between reality and paranoia. Everything is not what it seems, both within the relationships between both couples, and the interactions between the four. The mishmash of psychological thriller and relationship drama sometimes grates and the dialogue occasionally sounds like its been lifted from the Hello playbook, but The Ones Below at least tries to do something different.
The Ones Below is released on DVD by Icon Films on Monday.