false positive starts last. The pregnancy horror flick, premiering Friday on Hulu, opens with leading lady Lucy (ilana icing) walking the streets covered in blood as police sirens wail in the distance. At the end of the film, it is revealed that the blood comes from the double homicide she has just committed: killing her fertility doctor, Dr. Hindle ( Pierce Brosnan ) and her accomplice, Nurse Alba ( Gretchen Mol ). Lucy murders them with her bare hands, physically beating them both to death after discovering that Dr. Hindle impregnated her with her own sperm during her procedure, as well as aborting her daughter in favor of her children.
but the movie doesn’t stop there. Lucy returns home to her twin sons, the ones she never wanted, choosing her daughter over them at the beginning of the movie, and hallucinates killing them too, sending them out the window and watching them cry and float over the horizon. new York. but the film, despite its bona fide horror, stops short of actual infanticide. Lucy comes back to reality and her babies are still there, unharmed. She decides instead to force them on Ella’s cheating husband Adrian De Ella (Justin Theroux), demanding that he take the kids and leave. she stays in her apartment with one of the precious things she took from dr. hindle’s office: the fetus of her dead daughter, wendy. Lucy walks over to the couch, takes off her bra, and begins to nurse the fetus. In her mind boggling mind, Wendy gets hooked and starts drinking. Lucy smiles and laughs. It is a disturbing and indelible image: the homicidal Lucy, experiencing a deceptive maternal bliss.
“It was very controversial,” Ilana Glaser says of the film’s ending in a phone interview. “We had to fight for it.”
Glazer co-wrote the film with director John Lee, a frequent collaborator who had directed several episodes of his hit Broad City show. “John and I knew this was the end from the beginning,” she says. she demurs when asked to say more about its meaning, reiterating that was the intention all along. however, notes glasher, she and lee also had to fight for it to be revealed that grace singleton (zainab jah) is not the woof-woof, spiritual, troubled pan-african doula lucy thinks she is, but rather a prim woman with a sober and light-filled office. “I’m not your mystical nigger, lucy,” singleton declares when she realizes how her client imagined her. the tactic doesn’t quite work, though it’s a relief to find that the grace was written with a bit more care and depth than originally perceived.
narratively, the false positive draws inspiration from rosemary’s baby, roman polanski’s 1968 horror classic about a young pregnant woman (mia farrow) who essentially gives give birth to the spawn of satan. However, that film stops short of showing the baby, a choice the false positive deviates from, opting not only to show Lucy’s twin sons, but her creepy-looking, purple fetus as well. However, the A24 movie bows to the classic in several ways, including naming Lucy’s evil husband Adrian after the titular baby in Rosemary’s baby, and warning the audience early on that a demon may be at hand. on going. (a helmet?)
glazer has been blunt about the psychological toll the film took on her, saying she felt transformed on a “deviously visceral level” by playing lucy. “It was very, very intense,” she says. “I felt scared, paranoid, crazy, empty and weak. my body felt so tense and scared and sore.”
The actor is usually best known for his comedic roles and rose to fame as one half of Broad City’s goofy best friend duo. playing lucy was a new challenge, an opportunity to assert herself as an actress with range and the ability to deftly switch genders. The ending shows a whole new side of Glaser, going completely into violent horror action mode, and then switching into full paranoid fantasy mode. Glaser herself wouldn’t have it any other way.
“There are some things you have to stick to as an artist, and that ending was one of them,” he says. “We knew it was the right thing to do.”
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