OK look, with a title like this, most people would avoid a film like this with still/born in the movie title. I did too, but in an attempt to watch every movie Colin Minihan has been involved in, I really needed to check it off the list. This film not only isn’t what you think it is, but it has some twists and turns that will keep you guessing right until the very end. The synopsis for this still born movie is great and should not be overlooked. This review features a Stillborn spoiler section.
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Spoiler Review For Still/Born
If you didn’t notice the headline earlier, I’ll definitely be discussing the ending of this film as well as a good chunk of plot points. If you have no intention of watching this film because of its triggering theme, then read on without fear.
I began to think the title Still/born was a metaphor and the movie’s synopsis didn’t encompass its intended still-born theme. How could a film about such a tragic circumstance be horror and worth watching? Don’t be misled, it is not a metaphor. Like any film worth its salt, however, it is not done in a gratuitous way.
What’s The Still Born Movie Synopsis?
Mary (played by Christie Burke) is pregnant with twins. The Stillborn movie plot takes off when one of the twins dies during birth, she is diagnosed with postpartum depression. All of her symptoms, behavior, and rationale can be knocked down to her illness. But is it really an illness, or has a supernatural force decided she wants her other baby as well?
- Directed by Brandon Christensen, Stillborn movie is his directorial
debut. Not surprisingly though Brandon has had his hands on other films with Minihan such as What Keeps You Alive (Executive producer) and It Stains the Sand Red (Producer.)
- Both Colin and Brandon were writers for the film together.
- Starring Christie Burke (Falling Skies 2014), Jesse Moss (Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), Rebecca Olson (Killing Gunther (2017), Jenn Griffin (Cadence 1990), Sean Rogerson (Grave Encounters 2011), Michael Ironside (Scanners 1981).
Why Do You Like Minihan?
- Not all cinephiles I come across seem as impressed with Minihan’s narratives as I seem to be. They are never straightforward, and always a little odd in places (I’m looking at you It Stains the Sand Red.) But I love them all in one way or another.
- If you check out my article for Grave Encounters, you’ll see just how much I think the sun shines out of his butt.
- Minihan’s most recent film What Keeps You Alive made my top ten movies for 2018. Then I’ve only got four more Minihan films to watch and I’m Minihan qualified.
Stillborn Movie Review
Fresh off the back from my accidental second viewing of Mara, THIS is what could’ve been made from a sleep demon-esque film. It’s sufficiently creepy, well filmed, well-performed (except for early-onset crazy eyes from Burke.) It also has some awesomely smooth transitions to visually describe things such as explaining a time-lapse towards the second half.
I’m not saying Christensen invented the slow camera pan in a circle around the room. I’m sure it’s been done before. I just haven’t seen it used to play out how 5 minutes for Mary was actually over two hours for her husband. Her husband had left the house at the beginning of the pan and once the camera completed its circle he had returned. It was used with great effect.
Was it a Demon or Was Mary the Demon?
There are two ways of watching Still/born. The first way is to watch it through the foggy lenses of despair. It’s simply a depressive psychosis. Just don’t apply the concept of a supernatural being hunting Mary in its quest to take her only remaining living child.
The story could be knocked down to a mother’s plight fighting her own demon. Camera footage of events shows only Mary taking a dive off the stairs and, leaving Adam in the bath. Just Mary. No demon.
Mary’s only motivation for attempting to kill her neighbor’s child to appease the spirit is just one woman who has a tape recording. Did she really have enough evidence to go full hurtle on her neighbors’ baby? Probably not, especially if you watch it thinking there is no demon.
Was it a coincidence Mary kept using a sinister gruff voice to her husband while he was away? She seemed to be joking but does this cement the theory that her postpartum sent her batty? Was she so crazy and sleep-deprived she simply went into a fugue state and did all these things herself? What I’m saying is— no demon and only Mary talking to herself on the tape recording.
The ending here could be described as Jack’s entry to the postpartum club triggered by hearing his wife’s recording and his own mental state. He’d be pretty prone to a psychotic break of his own by this point.
The Other Side — Lamashtu Spoiler for Stillborn Review
Of course, it’s much scarier and less depressing to go the supernatural route. Lamashtu is part of Mesopotamian mythology, she is a female demon. Lamashtu tormented women during childbirth and, if she got the chance, stole their children.
It’s here he discovers the full extent of Mary’s assumed psychotic ramblings. For the first time, he isn’t in fear of his wife harming his child. He’s just sad and left with his only son. In this final scene, he discovers that everything Mary has been trying to tell him was true and Adam is gone. The demon is real and got her way. She kidnapped both children and now Jack will have to be friends with the lady from the original tape recording.
What About the StillBorn Movie Plot Holes?
Rather than see plot holes in the convenience of Jacks’ lengthy trips away for work, I instead felt simply sympathetic for both him and her. Any navy wife, fly-in-fly-out wife, or other that’s endured long absences while looking after a small child or infant will well and truly know the timing for his absences is not that uncommon at all. I moved house three times during the births of my two boys. Not fun times at all.
My only fault with events here was Jack choosing to install cameras. Instead, once Mary got put on medication, some sort of aid should have been forced on her. Cameras allowed for some spooky AF scenes though, so I’ll excuse it. I also took offense to her being advised to get rid of all evidence of Adam’s twin.’
It’s not like it was a year later and she was still hanging onto it. I’ve hoarded t-shirts that don’t fit
that one day will dammit, longer than Mary was allowed to keep that cot. I would have loved to see the addition of a top-class baby sitter give her a big
Got Anything Else?
In a nutshell, I could rabbit on about the still/born movie all day. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s a good movie with some solid bones that give you plenty to digest. My type of flick you could say. It was also scary enough that I didn’t really want to venture off to bed. I was a little creeped out.
So which way did you look at it?
I give Still/born
3.75 I’ll take this over Mara any day of the week out of 5
Stillborn movie plot and trailer