Many films portray a mental patient having hallucinations, but a few keep you thinking. “Bed Rest” is one such movie that will keep you up at night wondering whether what you saw was real or inside your head. The psychological thriller is directed and written by Lori Evans Taylor and stars Melissa Barrera, who was also in the very famous horror movie “Scream.” Let’s dive into what “Bed Rest” is all about.
‘Bed Rest’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
“Bed Rest” deals with themes of trauma and grief. Melissa Barrera plays the character of a pregnant woman named Julie Rivers. She is married to a teacher named Daniel Rivers. The couple moves to another city to have a fresh start. Why did they need a fresh start, you may wonder? Well, Julie has been through postpartum psychosis. She lost her first child, a boy. Julie did not cope with the death of her first child well and spent some weeks in a mental facility. After trying for years, Julie is pregnant again. In order to move on from their painful past, they start a new life by buying an old house that overlooks a lake. The couple starts socializing soon and goes to a party, where Daniel tells a woman that Julie is pregnant with their first child. Dejected, Julie does not speak a word on their way home. She questions if Daniel’s “new fancy friends” would judge her if they got to know the truth, but Daniel argues that he wants to forget what happened in the past. During their argument, Julie sees a little boy while she is climbing the stairs and falls. Her doctor then advises her to be on bed rest for the entirety of her pregnancy. What happens after is disheartening to watch; Julie is forced to fight her past demons. Slowly, Julie starts hearing the voice of a baby crying. The audience is left to wonder whether they can believe what Julie is hearing or if she is having a relapse. It is pretty common for a grieving mother to experience pain after losing a child, and since Julie is hearing the voice of a crying baby, she may be hallucinating.
Is Julie Hallucinating?
One day she sees a child playing outside her house, and she asks him where his mother is. He does not reply in words; he just points his finger at her. She gets confused, and the window suddenly shuts on its own. She sees someone walking downstairs and calls 911. When the police arrive, there is no one in the house. The local sheriff informs Daniel that Julie saw a boy. Worried that her manic episodes are back, Daniel hires a nurse. Delmy, the nurse, seems like a sweet woman. She starts sharing her story and tells Julie how she has never managed to conceive a child. Julie is allowed to take a bath once every three days, and Delmy helps her with the same. Julie soon starts thinking that the child she keeps seeing is her stillborn son Andrew. She starts calling out Andrew’s name in the hopes that he will come back to her. Obviously, at this point, the audience is pretty sure about the fact that Julie is hallucinating. The child comes to her and says “she” is coming for the baby. When Julie asks who this “she” he is referring to is, the child disappears. Hearing what the child had said, Julie gets a little uncomfortable. She starts suspecting Delmy. She shares her worries with Daniel, who does not believe her. He argues that he can only work peacefully if Delmy is there to take care of her. He wants the best for his wife and his child. Nobody would want to lose another child, and Julie’s condition was worsening. Her doctor advises her to start taking medication again. In the final few days of her pregnancy, the medication would not affect the growth of the child. In the entirety of the film, the audience keeps seeing Julie trying to communicate with Andrew. But Daniel and Delmy start telling her everything she is experiencing is in her head. As an audience, we are puzzled; who should we believe? Is she actually having manic episodes? Is she actually witnessing paranormal activities?
Well, she does get better for some time when she starts her medications, which gives us an idea that she was indeed hallucinating. But that is not how a horror movie goes, is it? The apparent paranormal activities keep increasing day by day, and Julie is adamant about not taking her medications. She secretly throws her pills away, which brings back the possibility of relapsing. She had experienced mental dissociation during her last pregnancy, and not properly taking medication will only lead to a possible relapse. However, she starts experiencing surreal activities, and even her cat starts sensing something wrong with the house.
Her cat starts following “the voice.” Julie is now sure there is something wrong with the house. Upon hearing the story of what had happened previously in the house where they live from Delmy, Julie starts digging deeper. At the beginning of the movie, a worker gives a bracelet to Julie, thinking it is hers. She keeps the bracelet and mends it. Julie is seen wearing the bracelet, and while digging into the past, she finds out that the bracelet belonged to a local woman who was the owner of the house in the late 1960s. Julie also finds out that the woman had an accident while pregnant with her fourth child, and the baby died. Thinking that she had failed as a mother, the woman went into depression. She then drowned all her kids and killed herself. Julie sees a picture of the family and realizes that the kid she is seeing is not Andrew but one of the previous owner’s kids. On her due date, she starts experiencing unbearable pain and shouts Delmy’s name. Soon, Daniel joins the two of them, and Julie tells him about the previous owner. To her dismay, Daniel already knew about the story but kept it a secret. According to Daniel, he was scared to tell her the truth since the house was the only thing that had made her smile in ages.
The house starts playing tricks on all of them now, and the ghost kills Delmy. Julie and Daniel run for their lives, but Daniel gets hit on the head and faints. Julie has her baby inside the house, and the ghost of the local woman starts coming toward her. Julie gives birth to her child in a bathtub, which later crashes down. Daniel wakes up and tries to save Julie, who is now, presumably, in the afterlife. She sees herself lying on the floor, and she also sees the spirit of Delmy. Along with the spirit of Delmy, she meets with her stillborn child Andrew, and she gives the baby to Delmy. The paramedics bring Julie back to life, and the movie ends with Daniel and Julie starting a new life together with their daughter.
The ending of the movie makes one wonder whether she actually saw Delmy and Andrew’s spirits or if it was just her mind trying to move on from the grief of losing a child. Clearly, she did not cope with her first pregnancy well, and the fact that she was not taking medications just shows that she could have been hallucinating the whole time. In psychological thrillers, one can never tell if what the audience is watching is real or if it is the writer making you question everything. If you are diving into the movie thinking it has jump-scares, you will be disappointed. However, the movie does a fair job of showing how the grief of a mother forces her to cling to the past. “Bed Rest” sure keeps you thinking about what happened in the end. Was what Julie experienced part of an afterlife?