Runtime: 86 minutes
Release Date: April 13, 2017
Director: Nirpal Bhogal
Charlie and James are a young couple in love and living together. Right before heading out for a night of partying, Charlie takes a pregnancy test and learns that she's pregnant. After hitting the pub, they head home and start getting intimate until she begins violently throwing up, which leads to her confessing that not only is she pregnant but that she doesn't want to have the baby. James sweet talks her about how great it would be to have a little “them,” and despite the fact that they clearly cannot take care of themselves, they decide to have the baby anyway.
The first sign we get that something is wrong is when James get upset in the hospital upon learning that Charlie asked his dad to come. He also meets a strange older woman in the hallway who seems to know a little too much about them. When they bring home their baby, Thea, things almost immediately go wrong. James's dad agrees to help them because, as it turns out, he's an expert in the occult. He hints that similar things happened when James was a baby and helps them rid their home of evil spirits. James makes it clear that he doesn't necessarily believe in the supernatural though. One thing made clear to them is that they cannot give Thea toys with faces, including dolls or stuffed animals, because that will invite the evil spirits back.
Things seemingly go pretty well for awhile. Thea does these random little prayer things, and her parents actually take good care of her. All that changes when Thea brings home a doll, which Charlie finds and throws away. Thea is so upset though that Charlie later brings home a different wall. That same night, cups shake in the kitchen, something grabs Charlie in her daughter's room, and James gets attacked. When they turn to James's father again, he recommends that they take Thea to a woman he knows, who is not only the only one who can help them but conveniently the same woman James spoke to in the hospital. Once they meet her though, it becomes clear that she has something else in mind.
Firstborn is definitely not one of the better horror flicks that I've seen lately. Neither Charlie nor James are particularly likable, even at the very beginning. They remind me of those white trash couples who can't be bothered to use condoms and then expect someone else to take care of their kids. While we later see that they're good parents, I can't get past how terrible they were early on.
One of the Firstborn reviews I read said that the film was uneven, which is something I definitely agree with after watching it. The beginning sets up the pregnancy, then we get to see all the strange stuff happening, but once James's dad leaves, the film takes too long to get us back to the weird stuff and spends a little too long introducing us to the now older Thea. The end of the film was a little dull too.
With the description of Firstborn, this should be the type of flick that makes you rethink wanting to have kids some day, but it would up just being another forgettable film.
Firstborn is currently streaming on Netflix.