‘The Expected’ is a stop motion animated short film with an estimated length of 15 minutes. The plot revolves around a couple and a failed pregnancy. The anxious father-to-be who moves around the flat while the woman is incapacitated after a devastating miscarriage which has drained her to the point where all that remains of her is an empty skin. The father retrieves the lost blood and pours it in a large aquarium. Its former inhabitants, two goldfish, are thrown in a food waste bag and left in front of the door. The bag never leaves the flat. No one ever leaves the flat. Shortly, movement can be seen in the red liquid of the aquarium. Something new is alive and seems to be growing, but never reveals its full shape.
‘The Expected’ is utilizing imagery and themes from genre cinema, such as body horror and psychological thrillers. A fairytale and a slow-paced relationship drama set in a confined domestic space where loneliness and violence are equally threatening.
The communication between characters is scarce. Their interaction is forced and passive. There is silence, no dialogue, sharp bursts of glass breaking, annoying water dripping, desperate beer cans opening. There is no talking. The characters are all watching, listening, waiting. The home is a place of safety, therefore all the more vulnerable to the uncontrollable horror, and horror may even rise from within its walls.
The protagonist is stuck in an escalating nightmare, oscillating between disgust and responsibility. The nauseating horror of dependence, bodies diminishing, bodies unfolding, the thrill of the unleashed unexpected. Animated sanity and animated delusion are suspiciously analogous.
The nature of the animation medium enables a seamless movement between dream, fantasy and reality.