Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead
Hulu’s psychological horror Clock follows the story of successful interior designer Ella Patel (Dianna Agron – Glee, As They Made Us). From the outside looking in Ella is seemingly happy and fulfilled in her marriage and career. However, to her friends and her constantly gaslighting father Joseph (Saul Rubinek), Ella is throwing away her lineage by refusing to have children. Eventually, she is unable to withstand the surmounting pressure and secretly decides to enroll in a 10-day clinical trial. The treatment is meant to repair a woman’s biological clock and reinstate the urge to have children by using a series of disturbing psychological aids and questionable-looking pills. The result is poor Ella suffering from vividly disconcerting hallucinations that contribute to a rapid mental decline with disastrous results.
The message broaches some difficult questions for the viewers. However, the story will mostly resonate with women in their late 30s to early 40s. Clock’s story is propelled by one of the most difficult conversations that most women have been forced to face, that is, the question of their ticking biological clock. We’ve heard the reference many times before especially about the limited time frame that women are the most fertile to have babies. The ongoing ideology is that a woman’s main objective in life is to procreate. If a woman lacks the desire to have children, they are sometimes seen as a freak and are constantly put upon for not fulfilling this particular criterion. With the constant twisting and changing of societal standards over time, more and more women find themselves lacking the urgency to have children and are just simply happy with having a great career, happy and successful marriage, and a comfortable home.
Clock’s director Alexis Jacknow is known as a multidisciplinary storyteller. I had no idea what that term meant until researching for this article. According to Google, the art of multidisciplinary storytelling is an approach to crafting narratives that bring together diverse disciplines and perspectives to create a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of a message or problem. Clock is Jacknow’s feature film debut, and her skillful use of graphic and disturbing images contributes many important elements in supporting the story’s main narrative and maintaining a presence of shock. The film is riddled with visceral representations of the uncomfortable nature of gynecological examinations and the negative effects on a woman’s body and mind from hormonal treatments. Another key visual aid used was eggs. Yep, you read that correctly. The importance of eggs in the reproductive process is a well-known fact. The camera made use of this importance by zooming in on caviar eggs on top of a hors d’oeuvre for instance. But this is done mainly by the protagonist’s growing obsession with putting normal chicken eggs in a freezer for safe keeping, a clear representation of trying to preserve one of the most vital ingredients to procreation.
Agron’s performance as Ella Patel was phenomenal and Ella’s character contains a gravitational attraction, especially for women in a similar situation. The actress’s powerful emotional range and depth as she slowly descends into a frenzied madness is breathtakingly disturbing onscreen. And the ending plot twist is guaranteed to make your head spin and blow your mind.
The deeply psychological aspects of Clock can be triggering for some of us. But its underlying message and promotion of awareness of the pressure placed on women by society to conform is powerful. It evokes the horrific nature of the mental and physical state of women who crumple under this pressure and inspires a desire to stand up and protect women who are within their rights to find any level of happiness according to their personal choice.
Alice’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
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Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More