FirstBorn is an intense horror movie with a solid story and real heart. You’re forced to ask yourself what you would do in the same situation.
Within the first few minutes, I knew I would enjoy FirstBorn. Usually, you tend to judge a movie fairly quickly when it begins. Or rather, that’s when you manage your expectations. From there, the movie can disappoint or pleasantly surprise.
FirstBorn seemed well-acted and high quality from the get-go and didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it’s surprisingly laid back in a way that makes it pretty realistic.
Yes, I know, demons are involved and all sorts of supernatural elements. But the story itself plays out as a sort of “It could happen to you” story.
The reactions of parents, who want to protect their child, but also fear the circumstances, are very believable. I mean, honestly, what would you do, if something crazy starts happening around your house the minute your newborn baby comes home? The natural thing is to protect a baby since it can’t protect itself. And that’s basically the premise of FirstBorn.
FirstBorn is a study in survival instinct
Obviously, the first step is to acknowledge that something supernatural is going on. But once things start flying around – including yourself – it’s not that difficult to become a believer.
The next step is asking for help and following the advice given. And once you experience that something is working, then you will continue doing it. No matter how strange it might seem. Even if it seems borderline OCD, it’s literally about survival.
Speaking of survival, there are some pretty creepy and violent scenes. It’s always very much in line with the story, so it doesn’t go too far, but it is very effective.
In order for the audience to go along with the story, we’re experiencing everything along with the parents. They’re thrown into this crazy situation and can’t really choose whether they believe in demons or supernatural creatures. The beasts are already there and wrecking havoc.
It’s actually pretty refreshing that the story doesn’t revolve much around them trying to find explanations. Instead, we can move on to dealing with the situation.
Great acting makes the movie
The acting in FirstBorn is really good. Jonathan Hyde (The Strain) is always great, as is Eileen Davies (Sightseers). For me, the scene stealer was Antonia Thomas, who portrays the mother in the family. You may have seen Antonia Thomas from the TV show Misfits or Lovesick, but for most people, she’s still a very fresh face. She is all heart and courage in FirstBorn, while also being very honest about the toll of the situation.
The father is played by Luke Norris, who seemed very familiar to me, but I had to realize I probably haven’t seen him before. He has worked on a few TV series including a prominent role on Poldark, so you may actually know him.
In any case, Antonia Thomas and Luke Norris worked perfectly as both a loving couple and parents. It’s a very organic portrayal of a family and – for once – the drama is not in their relationship.
It’s surprisingly refreshing to see people working together. Also, you care more about the characters, which is pretty important when they’re fighting to survive.
Nirpal Bhogal directed and co-wrote FirstBorn. This is his second feature film after having made Sisterhood Gang in 2011 – another film he both wrote and directed. He also worked as a director on three episode of Misfits, which I’m assuming is how he ended up making this movie with Antonia Thomas in the lead.
The script was written along with Sean Hogan, who has written a handful of horror scripts before this one. He clearly has a beautiful mind for horror, so we’ll be keeping our eyes out for whatever he does next.
FirstBorn became available on Netflix worldwide on March 31, 2017.
Director: Nirpal Bhogal
Writer: Nirpal Bhogal, Sean Hogan
Cast: Antonia Thomas, Jonathan Hyde, Luke Norris, Eileen Davies
The birth of their first child turn a young couples lives upside down. Especially since the child is accompanied by terrifying entities that threaten their newly formed family.