BIRTH/REBIRTH is a new horror thriller that blew me away. Slow-burn in some ways, but extremely intense and escalating in others. Marin Ireland and Judy Reyes are simply perfect in this. Do not miss out on this genre gem. Read our full birth/rebirth movie review here!
BIRTH/REBIRTH is a horror thriller that broke new ground for me. It had intriguing characters, questionable choices, and ditto actions, but it also kept you in the loop. By that I mean it always made sure you understood – even accepted?! – the reasoning of the characters.
And, trust me, the actions of the two lead characters portrayed by Marin Ireland and Judy Reyes do get increasingly grotesque. Try to avoid hearing too much about this movie ahead of time and let it just surprise (and shock) you. The story is inspired by Frankenstein and that’s really all you need to know. Well, that and the fact that it’s f*ckin’ amazing!
Continue reading our birth/rebirth movie review below. IFC Films and Shudder are behind the theatrical release on August 18, 2023.
A modern and realistic take on Frankenstein
Okay, when I call birth/rebirth a “realistic take on Frankenstein, I’m not saying I believe this could happen. However, I am sure we can all acknowledge that we do now live in a world where a person can die and be brought back to life. So far, so good.
Now, imagine a doctor wanting to cure death in a more permanent way. Not just bring someone back from having drowned or some other accident or sudden event. No, in this movie, the doctor directly states that she wants to cure death. Whether you’ve died from disease or accident, she is fighting to overcome death in a very scientific way.
And, as crazy as it may sound, she seems to be well on her way in this endeavor. The way she goes about it all is what felt very realistic to me. Trial and error – just like when Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend keeps trying to find a cure.
Maybe (probably!) this movie will hit harder for female viewers. Then again, this movie was inspired by Frankenstein which also came from the female genre author, Mary Shelley. However, this is very much a horror movie for everyone.
If you can handle your horror being very realistic and physical that is.
Marin Ireland and Judy Reyes blew my mind
There is no doubt in my mind that birth/rebirth works as well as it does thanks to its cast. Now, I don’t mean to take anything away from the writer or director, but even the best idea can be wrecked in execution.
With Marin Ireland (The Boogeyman) as Rose, the pathologist who prefers working with corpses over social interaction, we get exactly the kind of dedicated nerd it would take to be a modern Dr. Frankenstein. She has an obsession with curing death and when a young girl dies in the hospital, she is the perfect match for a human trial.
Meanwhile, we see Judy Reyes (Smile, The Horror of Dolores Roach) as the maternity nurse Celie. She is a single mother of the happy and vibrant six-year-old, Lila (A.J. Lister). Unfortunately, Lila is the young girl who dies in the hospital where both Rose and Celie work.
This is when the two women’s worlds come crashing together. Well, a few days later but I don’t want to reveal how they come to interact. In a strange way, they just become a solid team with a common goal. Each fighting for the experiment for their own reason.
In a key supporting role, we also get Breeda Wool. Yet another actor I absolutely adore. In some strange way, I feel like I started seeing Marin Ireland and Breeda Wool in indie and low-budget films around the same time. And then I just kept seeing them in new productions and now they’re both in this one, which is an amazing movie. Truly!
Watch birth/rebirth in theaters now and on Shudder later
The fact that birth/rebirth is a directorial debut from Laura Moss just makes me so happy. If this is their first feature film, then I cannot wait to see what they do next. For me, this is one of the most powerful and intense reimagining takes on Mary Shelley’s classic horror story about Dr. Frankenstein and his desire to reanimate dead bodies.
I expected to like this, but I never expected that I would be this pleased and impressed with it. I should also mention that the movie was written by writer-director Laura Moss and Brendan J. O’Brien. This is also a feature film debut for Brendan J. O’Brien as a writer. Previously, O’Brien has worked mostly in the sound department.
Even the ending worked for me. In fact, other than going in very predictable directions of other kinds, I don’t see any other believable ending. And again, to watch what is essentially a Frankenstein story and feel that it is believable and realistic is one hell of an accomplishment.
Do not miss out on this one!
IFC Films and Shudder will release birth/rebirth in theaters on August 18, 2023.
Director: Laura Moss
Writers: Laura Moss, Brendan J. O’Brien
Cast: Marin Ireland, Judy Reyes, A.J. Lister, Breeda Wool, Monique Gabriela Curnen, LaChanze
A single mother and a childless morgue technician are bound together by their relationship to a little girl they have reanimated from the dead.