Thinking of starting a family? Maybe give this one a miss if you’re on the fence. False Positive is possibly the cringiest horror movie about childbirth since David Cronenberg’s The Brood.
Writer-director John Lee and writer-actress Ilana Glazer (no romantic comedy debut for this Broad City veteran) have delivered a bouncing bloody shocker about an expectant mother who becomes highly suspicious of both her baby doctor and her baby daddy.
Advertising exec Lucy (Glazer) and surgeon Adrian (Justin Theroux) are an affluent New York couple unable to conceive their own bundle of joy.
As luck would have it, Adrian’s old friend and mentor Dr. John Hindle (Pierce Brosnan, in a deviously dark comic role) is one of the best fertility doctors on the planet! Lucy soon finds herself cooling her heels in the stirrups at Hindle’s posh clinic.
“It’s the one thing as a woman I’m supposed to be able to do,” Lucy complains. “And I can’t do it.”
From this seed of insecurity comes a forest of paranoia.
After a few uncomfortable treatments Lucy successfully gets a bun in the oven, as well as a case of cold feet. She just can’t shake the feeling that people are conspiring against her, particularly Adrian and Hindle, who seem to have their own scientific agenda for the little nipper(s).
Lucy’s concerns are dismissed with buckets of condescension by everyone, who blame the effects of Mommy Brain, a catch-all for the doubts and dark thoughts that come with the arrival of the stork.
When she’s given the choice between birthing twin sons or a single girl, Lucy opts for the latter. Adrian and Hindle openly express hostility with her decision.
By this point, it’s Mom Vs The World, and Lucy is no shrinking violet. Her attempts to gain control of her “birth story” by consulting an African midwife (Zainab Jah) are disastrous, however. The viewer is left to sort out Lucy’s eventual freakout and rampage, and whether or not her women’s intuition has any grounds in reality.
The short answer? Both are possible and plausible. The long answer? Buckle up, Buttercup. Even when she transforms into an avenging fury, our sympathies remain firmly in Lucy’s corner as she lashes out at the sinister men in her life.
Ilana Glazer is a dramatic bulldozer (and rather frightening) as a furious mom driven to extreme measures to keep her body and her baby beyond the reach of the patriarchy.
You’ve come a long way, Rosemary’s Baby.