'False Positive' Review With Casey
False Positive was released on June 25, 2021 and is available for streaming exclusively on Hulu. Ilana Glazer (Broad City, 2014-2019) and Justin Theroux (The Spy Who Dumped Me, 2018) play a happy married couple struggling to conceive a child. After meeting with a fertility doctor, played by a smarmy Pierce Brosnan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, 2018), they achieve a pregnancy. But the excited mother-to-be faces unexpected decisions, simmering suspicious, and shocking emissions...of blood.
False Positive is a feminist mystery about the psychological horrors of pregnancy and mounting female angst in a world of misogyny. The growing anxiety from Ilana Glazer's performance is interesting, but the hints at lies and conspiracy are so obvious and heavy-handed that when twists ARE revealed the surprise intended with them is lost.
Parts of the film are absorbing, like some of the mother's dreams/hallucinations that blur the separation between nightmare and reality. But the screenplay is too predictable and tries to touch on too many societal issues to be as current and relatable as possible. (What does it mean for a hipster woman to really have it all? What misinformation can shift a couple's birth plan closer to danger? Why do affluent white people view African-American women as authorities on holistic spiritualism? Does a woman's natural intuition really serve as a survival mechanism?)
False Positive attempts to be like a contemporary Rosemary's Baby (a classic psychological horror film from 1968) combined with the 2017 horror film Get Out, but the lack of originality and punch left me feeling dissatisfied. Yes, it's great to see a female-led film about important female issues. But False Positive needs more than that.