Kathleen is wiping the kitchen counter before a vision of her child in danger pulls her attention away. She turns to the window and sighs deeply. Then her phone rings; it’s Lauren from York pediatrics. She asks if Kathleen is still experiencing anxiety.
Kathleen responds, “Everything’s fine. Just some lingering new mom jitters.” But while she’s answering Lauren, her head tilts from side-to-side, as if she can’t keep it straight.
When she hangs up, we watch Kathleen go upstairs to check on her baby. She reaches over the crib to change her diaper, and we’re startled when she lifts her by her head.
In Everything’s Fine, Kathleen’s desire to be a good mother clashes with the stress that having a new child introduces into her life. We see her smile at her child and cradle her, but she’s randomly interrupted by visions of her injuring her child. The fear of perpetrating the violence makes her cautious. The stress eats away at her throughout the short, until she breaks. She tucks her baby in and we see the unthinkable.
Everything’s Fine explores the emotional hurdles a first-time mother must jump through. In this writer’s opinion, the highlight of the film is actress Maura Kidwell’s portrayal of Kathleen’s anxiety, which becomes so intense that at some points she appears to be looking through us as we watch her.
Fans of horror and the exploration of stress and anxiety would enjoy this short.
Run time: 12 Minutes
Maura Kidwell as Kathleen
Olive James Oakes
Director: Danny Rhodes
Writer: Lisa Cisneros
Producer: Lisa Cisneros, Teresa Schaeffer, Christine Cikowski, Douglas Maxwell Myer, and Morgan Rickel
Music: Catherine Yang
Film Editing: Thomas Molash
Watch Everything’s Fine on the Film Maudit 2.0 website.
Images Courtesy of Film Maudit 2.0
About the Author: Jamal H. Goodwin Jr.
Grammar, prose style, fiction, nonfiction: Jamal does it all. When he's not jogging or reading Daredevil, he's writing stories with a focus on character and elegant language. He’s written reviews for Philadelphia Stories and has fiction published by Spillwords press. Check out a sample of his work at thefictionwriter.blog website.