Clock Movie 2023
Hulu

[Overlook 2023 Review] A Childfree Woman is Driven Mad By Motherhood in Pregnancy Horror CLOCK

Pregnancy horror rages on in Alexis Jacknow’s Clock, adapted from her short film of the same name in which a woman is haunted by the ticking of her biological clock in an empty parking garage. The feature, however, follows a woman in search of a miracle cure to install a biological clock that will (hopefully) give her the mental fortitude to want a child.

It’s a bizarre premise because the idea that this character would ditch a dream job opportunity to sneak away for an experimental procedure (after gazing longingly at Instagram posts of babies and pregnant bellies) kind of implies that she already wants a baby. She just hasn’t admitted it to herself yet. You might expect that she is infertile, grasping at straws for any chance to have a natural birth but nah. By all account she’s healthy, capable, and willing but, tragically, 37-years-old. The horror!

 

Clock-Reflection-2023
Photo Courtesy Of Hulu

 

“When are you having kids?” is a question every women on this planet gets asked at one time or another. And more often than not, it’s met with veiled hostility when you answer “I don’t want them”. I’ve seen my wife deal with it hundreds of times, and I’ve heard the biological clock metaphor directed at her in a variety of ways but Clock puts a weird spin on the fine details. In the movie, hearing the ticking of the clock is how these women describe the urge to have children. Like, You’ll clock will start ticking one day, or Maybe your clock is broken if it’s not ticking.

Ella (Dianna Agron, Shiva Baby), desperate to kickstart her clock seeks out a radical cutting-edge medical procedure spearheaded by the unconventional Dr. Elizabeth Simmons (Melora Hardin. The Office) at the expense of a life-changing job opportunity. A respected authority in her field, Ella drops everything to tackle motherhood before it’s too late, but she is soon haunted by nightmarish visions. Are these ghouls harbingers of the darkness that lays ahead for all childless women? Or are they grim reminders of the horrors our ancestors faced only to see their legacy cut short but a selfish generation ready to throw their bloodline away?

 

Clock-Doctor-2023
Photo Courtesy Of Hulu

 

Like so many first-time features, Jacknow goes for broke, leaving it all on the dancefloor. Female autonomy, mental illness, the holocaust- Clock is (over)loaded with ideas. Some of them feel in-line with the plot more than others but it’s still a lot of movie. That said, it also features a wonderfully grotesque nightmare image of pregnancy that could have come from the mind of no one else and despite any misgiving I have about the rest of the movie, was pure midnight madness perfection.

I don’t doubt that this is a personal story for the people that made it but it’s sentiment is a little copy+paste from the powers that be. There is no doubt that this is a reflection of emotions most women face at some point in their lives but I want to see female characters deal with evil unrelated to childbirth. There is a diversity to narrative that is still lacking despite a growing diversity of filmmaking talent.

 



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Clock-The-Tank-2023
Photo Courtesy Of Hulu

 

I don’t believe that every female filmmaker wants to make a movie about how scary it is to be a women (In fact, I know this to be true) but it does often feel like that’s the approved story template for the time being. We’re in a childbirth-so-scary bubble and fingers crossed it takes longer to burst than the overlapping elevated horror bubble.

Clock has a lot to say about the pressures family and friends and society at large place on women. A lot of its horror imagery seems to have walked on set from another production but is often effective although predictable. The movie feels as unsure about what it wants as its main character but tries damn hard to deliver the goods.

 

Clock’s horror imagery seems to have walked on set from another production but is often effective…”

 

Alexis Jacknow’s Clock celebrated its World Premiere at the 2023 Overlook Film Festival and will be available to stream on Hulu April 28, just ahead of Mothers’ Day. Click HERE to follow our continued coverage of the festival, and let us know what you think of Clock over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord! Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.

 

Clock-Poster-2023

Clock Movie 2023
[Overlook 2023 Review] A Childfree Woman is Driven Mad By Motherhood in Pregnancy Horror CLOCK
TL;DR
Clock has a lot to say about the pressures family and friends and society at large place on women. A lot of its horror imagery seems to have walked on set from another production but is often effective although predictable. The movie feels as unsure about what it wants as its main character but tries damn hard to deliver the goods.
Story
50
Horror Imagery
70
Premise
50
Cinematogrpahy
75
61
SCORE
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