A solid directorial debut effort for Lori Evans Taylor
Score 7/10 - Recommended
Posted by Anthony DeRouen | December 7th, 2022
Best Rest is Tubi's latest acquisition in their ever expanding catalogue of horror and suspense. They have really made strides in recent years to compete with Amazon Prime and Shudder. Bed Rest is another step in the right direction.
Lori Evans Taylor's directorial debut (off a script she also penned) revolves around a pregnant woman named Julie (played by Melissa Barrera) who is trying to move past a tragedy involving child loss by settling into a newly purchased house with her husband (played by Guy Burnet). Not soon after they spread the blankets over their freshly assembled bed do the supernatural elements appear. If you have heard of that introduction before in a horror movie you're not alone - it's employed quite extensively with varying degrees of success.
Most of the time the initial setup involving the main character's past is tabled when the ghostie goblies appear. Our protagonists are too busy pointing and screaming and running to be bothered with moments of introspection or civil discourse. This is what sets Lori Evans Taylor's effort apart from the rest. While the film as a whole doesn't take many chances, and we have to wait until the waning minutes of the film to finally meet the antagonist, its Lori Evans Taylor's decision to stick with Julie's tragedy throughout the film which gives us the satisfying payoff at the end.
This unique effort also presents the audience with the opportunity to allow the subject matter to sink in, a luxury we are not accustomed to.
We learn that Julie lost a child during late term pregnancy. We are given flashbacks and dedicated screen time between herself and her husband, plus more from a hired health care worker as the film progresses. The film never strays too far from the sensitive subject matter even when a child apparition begins making the rounds. The focus remains squarely on the traumatic experience and debilitating repercussions Julie suffers through from that loss.
One of those repercussions is the husband, Daniel. At times he comes off as both aloof and paranoid and serves as the pseudo-antagonist to Julie's waking nightmares until the real villain steps forward. We are teased with the possibility the health care worker, Delmy, is the villain, but again, the core of the movie remains steadfastly on child loss. Demy becomes intertwined in the rising supernatural spectacle taking place which presents the "mother" a grand entrance.
If Bed Rest was released in October, when the streets of Hollywood are running red, when pumpkins are smashed and candy corn is eaten by the metric tons we might have overlooked this gem. By releasing in December when even the most ardent horror addicts like myself have Christmas wreathes hanging on the door and sugar plums dancing in my head, Bed Rest is the horror movie we need to remind us that not all scares come with blood-soaked kitchen knives.