Monday, May 22, 2023

Clock (2023)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year:  Clock (2023)
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Length:  1h 31min
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: 20th Digital Studio, Hulu Originals, Disney+, Hulu
Director: Alexis Jacknow
Writers: Alexis Jacknow
Actors: Dianna Agron, Melora Hardin, Alexis Jacknow, Charissa Allen, , Grace Porter, Isabelle Du, Jay Ali, Kat Steffens, Laura Stuart, Marquel Skinner, Nikita Patel, Rosa Gilmore, Saul Rubinek, Stefan Sims
TMDb Blurb: On the eve of her 38th birthday, a woman desperately attempts to fix her broken biological clock.
Cat’s Point of View:
Clock was hard to watch for me. Aside from the fact that it was probably the most bleak and dark psychological horror-thriller I’ve watched in a long time, it was graphic and full of triggers. This movie might be about a woman caught in a proverbial tug-of-war about having kids - but it is patently not for kids to watch.

I absolutely identified with the underlying message Clock presented, however. 

Society places so much pressure on women when it comes to reproduction. The government has continued to meddle with women’s reproductive rights and we’ve even taken huge steps backward recently. I’m not here to get into politics or debate the political topic, however, so I’ll leave it at that. Even before legal aspects of reproductive rights came into play, it was still a major issue. 
Women have been denied the ability to opt out of having kids via medical means simply on the basis of the conjecture that a future partner might decide they want kids. (I actually know someone who was denied sterilization options simply because she was young and unmarried. She even had kids already.) These aren’t decisions being made based on hard scientific data and with the best interests of the patients in mind - these are the personal ethics of the medical professionals, as well as their fear of future legal entanglements. 

I count my blessings that my doctor agreed that closing the proverbial baby factory was a good idea once I had my MS diagnosis. (I was already very high risk had I decided to have another child, anyway even before that due to other factors.) So many others haven’t been so lucky and have to deal with the monthly burden of being a female on top of their MS complications. I’ve read horror stories in online support groups. I digress…
Some people are absolutely fine not having kids - some prefer to invest their nurturing in pets rather than furthering the human gene pool. There are myriad reasons why a woman might decide she doesn’t want kids. Quite often, however, that’s not good enough for everyone else. 

The minute I got married, I was bombarded with questions about when I was going to start a family. I always wanted to have kids so it wasn’t offensive - it was just an onslaught of unnecessary pressure. 

I could go on forever on this topic, but I’m stepping away from my soap box - this is about a movie review, right? I felt compelled to dive into that rabbit hole for a moment to illustrate even a fraction of how triggering some aspects of Clock could be. That’s really only scratching the surface.

Clock didn’t play around when it came to its inherent darkness. The very first scene set that tone and pulled no punches. 
Dianna Agron (The Family, Glee, As They Made Us) was fantastic as Ella. There were so many nuances that had to go into this performance and she hit every mark flawlessly. Honestly, the whole primary cast was firing on all cylinders here. I could feel her desperation and the whole rollercoaster she went on as she responded to the overwhelming pressure and guilt thrust upon her.

I was surprised to learn that Clock was the feature length debut for writer/director Alexis Jacknow (Again, The One Who Brung You, Costume Change). This was an ambitious undertaking to shine some light on this particular hot-button topic - and to do so with such jaw-dropping darkness and black humor. 

Oh yes, did I forget to mention that there’s actually an undercurrent of very dark comedy here? I adore horror-comedy as a sub-genre… but this wasn’t really going in that direction. Clock caught me off guard with a few moments where I half-laughed and then felt like a horrible human.  

While most of Clock focused on the psychological aspects of what Ella was going through, there are some very grisly moments sprinkled throughout the production. I wouldn’t even call it gore, per se, but there were some very graphic and bloody scenes. 

The ending floored me. I was tragic and I was unsettled and squirmy. 

Clock was highly effective in conveying its message - though, I can’t say that I’d ever want to see it again due to all of the triggering factors within. It’s not going to be for everyone, but it was a solid movie - especially as a Hulu Original. If the potential triggers don’t dissuade you, I’d say Clock would be worth a stream. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 58%
Metascore – 59%
Metacritic User Score – 4.4/10
IMDB Score – 5.0/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5

Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer:

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