Clock ticks and tocks through a motherhood – or lack of motherhood – story. Ella (Dianna Agron) doesn’t want kids. She’s never wanted kids. Society and her family don’t like this choice and the pressure is ever present to reproduce.
Clock looks at the way women who don’t want children are made to feel broken and insufficient. The film was written and directed by Alexis Jacknow. As a horror story it doesn’t stand out in any way, but as a commentary on the pressures on women to be mothers it has a lot to say.
In the beginning, we see the kind of pressure Ella faces. Her father (Saul Rubinek) thinks that a family that survived the Holocaust has a moral duty of reproduce and keep the line going. Since Ella is an only child, it’s up to her. Ella’s husband Aidan (Jay Ali) supports her decision to be childless, but secretly he wants kids.
Her friends are all having babies. Here she is, 37 and considered geriatric womb-wise. Finally, she caves. She goes to a doctor.
Dr. Simmons (Melora Hardin) runs a clinic guaranteed to make women who don’t want babies turn into women who want a baby more than anything. Ella goes there for 10 days.
That’s where the horror begins.
The medications and the therapies Dr. Simmons puts her through trigger some nasty side effects. Ella hallucinates. She sees a scary tall woman, lots of spiders, and terrifying clocks that won’t stop ticking. There are eggs everywhere. This is a horror story about fertility, so symbolism using eggs and ticking clocks makes sense. I’m not clear on what the spiders and the tall woman have to do with anything.
When she leaves her stay in the clinic, her mental health is completely ruined. She definitely wants a baby now, but she does some things that are, well, horror filled.
The ending contains a shocking twist. The last few seconds are inexplicable. The little coda at the end just left me scratching my head.