‘Clock’ Review: That Biological Ticking Is Now a Time Bomb

Ella (Diana Agron) is a successful interior designer, enjoys afternoon sex with her handsome and loving husband (Jay Ali), and volunteers. The only cloud over this perfect picture is that she feels bad that Ella doesn’t want kids and she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Motherhood has long been a major subject of horror movies, enjoying themes such as intimate aggression – the call came from within the womb! – and the imbalance that warps perception. Writer-director Alexis Jacknow jumbles these features and more into Hulu’s “Clock” feature.

Undeterred by conflicting urges and desires, Ella eventually gave in. She was mainly to appease her widowed father (Saul Rubinek), a Holocaust survivor. She feels as though goop was conceived by David Cronenberg and enrolls in an experimental program run by the amazingly soothing Dr. Simmons (Melora Hardin). Treatments to make her more receptive to having children include talk therapy, drugs, and a mysterious intrauterine implant.

Agron, who has just turned around in the indie film Acid Man, underpins “Croc” with a restrained, acting-free performance that’s somewhat at odds with the film’s perfunctory jump scares. “Clock” is a psychological thriller, or perhaps even satire, in a costume of horror, taunting us with thought-provoking ideas, only to abandon them: nature versus nurture, wellness for mind and body. The influence of the industrial complex, the expectations placed on oppressive women themselves. Most dramatically powerful is the guilt-ridden relationship between Ella and her father. Unfortunately, it’s also out of time.

Unrated. Running time: 1 hour 31 minutes. Watch on Hulu.

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