Still/Born is a 2017 Canadian psychological horror film directed and co-written by Brandon Christensen. The story revolves around Mary (played by Christie Burke), a woman who experiences the joy and tragedy of childbirth simultaneously when she gives birth to twins, but only one survives. The film navigates through Mary's psychological landscape as she grapples with postpartum depression, gradually descending into a terrifying suspicion that a malevolent entity is after her surviving child.
Mary's husband, Jack (played by Jesse Moss), leaves for a business trip, exacerbating her isolation and fear. As she becomes more sleep-deprived and haunted by visions, particularly involving her baby monitor, the line between reality and hallucination blurs, intensifying the film's psychological horror elements.
Still/Born was noted for its psychological depth, primarily exploring themes like maternal fear, postpartum depression, and the grief of losing a child. The film received generally positive reviews, with critics particularly praising Christie Burke's performance. It celebrated its world premiere at the 2017 Overlook Film Festival in Mount Hood, Oregon, where it was awarded the festival's Scariest Feature Award.
The film's portrayal of postpartum depression and psychosis through a horror lens has been both a point of critique and praise, as it navigates the delicate balance between being disturbing and potentially exploitative. The narrative builds on a very real medical condition, using jump-scare horror elements to convey the protagonist's escalating terror and irrationality. Critics have noted that while the film follows some familiar horror tropes, Christie Burke's grounded performance stands out, effectively conveying the depth of Mary's trauma and fear.
Bradley Stuckel's cinematography in "Still/Born," directed by Brandon Christensen, is pivotal in establishing the film's psychological horror and suspenseful atmosphere. The movie, which deals with themes like postpartum depression and the horror of losing a child, benefits from Stuckel's ability to visually capture these complex emotional states.
Overall, Bradley Stuckel's cinematography in "Still/Born" is crucial in creating a tense and atmospheric backdrop that complements the film's psychological horror themes. The visual style is key in immersing the audience in the protagonist's harrowing experience, elevating the film's impact in the horror genre.
For more detailed reviews and insights on Bradley Stuckel's cinematography in "Still/Born," you can refer to the following sources:
"Spiral" premiered in August 2019 at Arrow Video Frightfest and was later released on Shudder in September 2020.
DCP Digital Cinema Package, Video (UHD)
Dolby Surround 5.1
Distribution by AMC Networks Shudder streaming platform.