Antibirth has the most amazing actresses and they do an awesome job, but the story doesn’t do them justice.
Look, I’ll be honest and say that as soon as I saw the cast of Antibirth, I knew I had to watch this movie. I mean, I’ve adored Natasha Lyonne since she played a sexually confused cheerleader in But I’m A Cheerleader. And then you add Chloë Sevigny, who I’ve loved in everything from her debut in Larry Clark’s 1995 movie Kids (which is scary in its own way) to Boys Don’t Cry and the latest season of American Horror Story.
Of course, that meant I had to watch her in what appeared to be a campy horror movie. And Antibirth is definitely both camp and horror. Unfortunately, that’s where the focus is; To be camp and horror crazy, but not a good story!
When you have actresses like Natasha Lyone and Chlöe Sevigny, then they can act their hearts out and their butts off – which they do – but that’s not enough. For me, the story just isn’t really there. Especially not the story I was expecting after having watched the trailer.
However, let me be completely clear; If you love Lyonne and Sevigny, then you absolutely should watch Antibirth.
Chloë Sevigny has nowhere near enough screen time or material, but Natasha Lyonne is in virtually every scene. She is playing a character that has become almost stereotypical for her. So much so that it feels like she’s just playing an amped up version of herself. She’s out-there, crazy, speaks her mind – with lots of expletives – and she really doesn’t care how people perceive her.
She’s doing her very best to come off as strong, but is clearly weak. Mostly due to her intense drug habit, which she doesn’t slow down just because she becomes pregnant. Or rather, she hasn’t had sex – to her own recollection anyway – in six months, so her suddenly very pregnant belly is an obvious surprise.
If the story got as much attention as the crazy, I’d love this Antibirth!
The movie marks the feature film debut of Danny Perez as both screenwriter and director. He did direct the 54 minute long experimental film Oddsac in 2010, so it’s not a whole new ball game for him. Still, this didn’t really work for me. The dialogue scenes – which is most of the movie – were delivered wonderfully by Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny and also, in particular, a crazy perfomance by Meg Tilly!
The story just isn’t really there for a feature film. It’s more of a short film that was stretched out, but without really adding more to the story. We don’t get any background on the characters, which is fine, but then there needs to be something else to hold the attention and interest of the audience.
And maybe (probably!), I am judging this movie unfairly because I expected more, but I feel the cast of Antibirth warranted those expectations. Also, the trailer doesn’t deliver on the type of film we’re actually getting, which is dangerous. Unless, of course, you give us more than the trailer promised. That just didn’t happen in this case.
Antibirth is out in theaters and available on VOD now.
Director: Danny Perez
Writer: Danny Perez
Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Meg Tilly
In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions as she struggles to get a grip on reality while stories of conspiracy spread.