False Positive

This Hulu original is an update on Rosemary’s Baby. It’s not very good. They took a horrifying idea and forgot to write a second act making it a very dull affair.

The film follows a couple having trouble getting pregnant. The couple is played by Ilana Glazer as Lucy and Justin Theroux as Adrian. They seek out the help of Adrian’s former mentor and now the worlds foremost expert on IVF treatments Dr. Hindle played by a deliciously off kilter Pierce Brosnan.

The procedure goes well, too well in fact. Lucy now has triplets, two boys and a girl. However complications force them to make a choice; keep the two boys or keep the girl. Lucy chooses the girl but begins to suspect something is wrong with the pregnancy.

Then nothing happens for an hour. There is no build up of tension as Lucy’s suspicious deepen. There are no reveals and betrayals that drive Lucy through the story. There are no lies and deceits that warp Lucy’s send of trust and reality. It’s just a dead zone for an hour until the climax.

There are a bunch of dream scene fake outs. For example Lucy is following her husband into a hotel. She sees him engage in an affair. Just then there’s a loud musical cue meant to serve as a jump scare then Lucy wakes up. These happen all the time in horror movies. When done we’ll like in the Night House, they can be disorienting and scary. When handled like this it’s monotonous and cheap. Especially when they do it every five minutes. They’re just trying to fill time in an otherwise scare free movie.

When the movie finally wakes up in the last half hour, it throws a bunch of twists at us that anyone who stayed awake would have been able to guess. Then there’s a bloody confrontation and a vague ending.

I wanted this movie to be better. It’s a rich setup. Pregnancy fears are ripe material for horror. This movie has all the potential in the world to be amazing, but they didn’t write a second act. A strong start and a big finish doesn’t make up for an hour if nothing. There’s no central conflict during this hour. There’s no real sense that Lucy is going crazy. She just wanders through the movie while everyone around her says pregnancy brain a lot.

I will say that Pierce Brosnan is very good. There’s one good aspect to this movie and that’s his too familiar, smug, Cheshire Cat performance. He’s good. Too bad nothing else is.

Not my cup of tea. D

Spoilers.

So here’s what happens. Adrian made a deal with Dr. Hindle. Hindle used his own sperm to impregnate Lucy. He wants to populate the world with his own offspring. In exchange for a partnership in Hindle’s clinic Adrian agree to turn Lucy into the mother of Hindle’s sons.

This is a great idea. It’s horrifying. It’s terrible. It speaks to having your autonomy and power taken away. It speaks to bodily fears about what is growing inside you. It’s also not explored at all here. Because they keep this a secret until the very end the middle section has nothing to explore.

Whenever Lucy expresses concern over her daughter, everyone tells her it’s organdy brain then ignore her. She also ignores her fears too. So there’s really no tension of any kind, just a bunch of dream scene fake outs.

In the end Lucy gives birth to two boys. She confront Dr. Hindle. He explains that he’s been impregnating women for years with what he considers his superior sperm. She then murders him. Then kills a nurse. Then she goes home. She foists the boys onto her husband and walks into the living room. With the remains of her daughter which she found at Hindle’s office. She holds the purple corpse to her nipple and it begins feeding.

Now does this mean she’s lost her mind? I guess. They didn’t build up to her insanity in any meaningful way aside from a couple third act twists that don’t really make sense. It just feels like a non ending that didn’t cap off the themes of the story at all.

I didn’t like this movie.

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