REVIEW: Ultrasound (2021)

dir. Rob Schroeder

Three stories are somehow connected in this puzzling sci-fi mystery: Glen (Vincent Kartheiser) finds himself somehow teetering on the edge of fatherhood after an unusual encounter, unsure of how he got there; Katie (Rainey Qualley) is a young woman navigating a psychologically abusive affair with an affluent and seemingly clean cut politician; and a scientist begins to find herself in a dilemma as the experiment she’s involved with becomes morally cloudy.

With its interconnecting plots Schroeder’s debut feature keeps audiences constantly guessing what’s around the corner. It’s strength, however, is in the portrayal of an individual’s rights to bodily autonomy, especially in the field of medicine and prenatal care. The character of Katie and her situation as a pregnant person, whose perception is being altered by the politician she is having an affair with, is a stark reflection of how -throughout the world – the bodies of those with the ability to get pregnant have been politicized with their reproductive autonomy either being debated or taken away completely.  

Although the twisting narrative spawns a rollercoaster of emotion this can lead to the story becoming convoluted, with audiences sometimes feeling as if they need a pin board with connecting red string to fully grasp what’s happening. However the performances are so full of high-strung tension that it’s nigh on impossible to avoid having a similarly stressful, visceral reaction. 

A cinematic version of an escape room, there are plenty of wrong turns and red herrings that will keep viewers trying to figure out how the puzzle fits together, even after the final moments.

⭐⭐⭐

Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana

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