The Lullaby

Synopsis: Returning to her home town, Vrede, and overwhelmed by the birth of her first born, Chloe van Heerden (19) tries to come to terms with motherhood. Despite the support from her loving mother, Ruby (35), Chloe struggles with the demand of being a new mom. The incessant crying of her baby, the growing sense of guilt and paranoia sends Chloe into a dark depression. With a heightened urge to protect her son, Chloe sees danger in every situation. Distraught she pays a visit to family psychologist Dr. Timothy Reed (40s) who diagnoses her intrusive thoughts and feelings of anxiousness to a mild case of baby blues. Yet the thoughts grow worse and more violent. Chloe starts to hear voices and humming of a childhood lullaby and sees flashes of a strange entity around her child. Convinced that the entity is real, Chloe does everything in her power to protect her son. Her decline reaches fever pitch, and everybody seems to be moving against her. Desperate, Chloe finds solace in the arms of her child
86 min

(water flowing)

(glass clinks)

(ominous music)

(fire crackling)

(radio buzzing)

[Woman] While our men

were fighting in the hills,

the British placed us

in concentration camps.

Behind the wire, they

did what they wanted.

They raped the women.

But if one of us fell pregnant,

the priest and the

midwife would make certain

that the baby would

never see a sunrise.

(film reel clicking)

(ominous music)

(wind howling)

(eerie music)

(baby crying)


(baby screaming)

You lay with the enemy!

(baby screaming)


The devil is inside this child.

You've sinned

against your country,

against your people

and against God!

(ominous music)

The Devil is inside this child!


(baby crying)

(intense music)


(eerie music)

(fire crackling)



Come on.

You need to push now.

One more time. One big one.

Come on, you can do it.

One big one.

Give me a push.

I can't!

You have to.

Mommy, please!


- I'm sorry, Mommy.

- [Nurse] Last big one.


[Nurse] Give me a push.

[Young Woman] I can't.

[Nurse] You have to.


You are almost there,

Chloe, come on.


(ominous music)

Go! Push!

Use your strength, now push!


(intense music)

(dramatic music)

(baby crying)

(baby crying)

It's fine. Give him to me.

Come here, baby boy.

Come here.

It's your son, Chloe.

He has a nice face.

(ominous music)

(eerie music)

(birds chirping)


Mama se kindjie

Momma's little baby


Momma's little baby

Ring his neck and

throw him in a ditch

Step on his head

Make sure he is dead


Momma's little baby


(eerie music)

Ring his neck and

throw him in a ditch

Step on his head

Make sure he's dead

(birds chirping)

Only so much I

can do in two days.

Sorry Mom.

There's a chair and a cot.

Hello, Liam.

(baby crying)

So, Liam,

do you like your new home?

Only on the day

your water breaks.

I've never been so

embarrassed in my life.

If the police hadn't informed

me that your were fine,

I would've lost my mind.

Sorry, Mom.

Give him to me.

(ominous music)

He's my grandson.


There we go.


It's nice here, isn't it?

I think so too.

If only your mommy wasn't

so bloody foolish, huh?

Who's the dad?

I see.

Mom, really it's

not like that.

And Adam?

What about him?

This is gonna break his heart.

I don't think so, Mom.

That boy has always

loved you, Chloe.

Come on.

He waited for you, you know?

To come back.

This is what happens when

you run away from home.

When you leave me.

Oh, you're such a

silly girl, Chloe.

(ominous music)

I'm sorry.

This is all my fault.

No, Mom.

You've done this to spite me.


Please don't blame yourself.

I did this.

You're right, I should

never have left.

But you did.


You ruined everything.

It doesn't matter now.

None of it matters.

You're back.

My dear, sweet Chloe.

Never leave me again.


I've gotta go sell a house.


(baby crying)

(ominous music)

(crickets chirping)

(rocker creaking)

(baby moaning)

(Chloe sighing)

Oh, Liam.

Come baby.


(baby crying)

Sleep tight, baby.


(humming tune)

(baby crying)

(eerie music)

It's okay.


Gonna sleep in your cot, okay?

Like a big boy.


Let's have a little sleepy.

There we go.

It's gonna be okay.

(baby crying)



I told you, Liam has

to sleep in his cot.

You can't sleep with the

baby in a chair like that.

You will drop him.


It's the only way I can

get him to stop crying.

We were up again

the whole night.

I heard.

It's been days since I've

had a good night's rest.

You're too quick

to pick him up.

You need to leave

him to cry it out.

You don't want to spoil him.

If he's crying,

then surly there must

be something wrong.

Chloe, babies

cry for attention.

He'll learn to self-sooth.

I'm showing the

O'Dan property today.

You're on your own.

Remember to feed him.

He doesn't want me.

Chloe, use the pump, okay?

No, it hurts.

Motherhood is hard, Chloe.

Sooner you realize

that, the better.

Stop moaning and look after him.



Stupid thing.

(eerie radio buzzing)

(radio voice groaning)

(television static fizzling)

(ominous music)



(menacing music)

(water dripping)

(heavy breathing)

(unsettling music)

(creature breathing)



[Man] Chloe?



Look who's back.


(dramatic music)


I mean,

I thought I'd never

see you again.

You know?

Adam, I'm really sorry.

I mean, you just up and left.

Forget about it.

You don't look too well.

I'm fine.

And you?

How've you been?

I'm good.

I'm just glad that you're back.

I missed you.

It's been a while.

(baby crying)

(eerie music)

(baby crying)

(Chloe shushing)

This is Liam.

(baby crying)

(unsettling music)


(eerie music)



(door creaking)

(ominous music)

(creature breathing)



(haunting music)





What's going on?

Mommy, please help!

The lock, it's jammed!

Calm down!

(baby crying)


(baby moaning)

(ominous music)

Chloe, what is this mess?



Just clean it up.

Mommy's so sorry,

sweet baby boy.

So, so sorry.

(ominous music)

(unsettling music)



(pleasant chiming music)



(eerie chiming music)


(echoing chiming music)

(menacing music)



What happened?

What's wrong with you?


Come on.

He scratched his face.


(eerie music)

I told you to cut his nails.

(Chloe gasping)


Take him.

I can't.

(eerie music)

Oh, Chloe.

I can't.

It's okay.


Okay, baby.

(menacing music)

Come with me.

(dramatic music)

(humming tune)



How very nice to see you.

Come in.

Thank you.

Sorry to just barge

in unannounced.


I know how strict

you are with your time.

There's no need

for you to apologize.

Friends are always welcome.

It's been awhile, Ruby,

since we've seen each other.

(somber music)

Chloe's back, Dr. Reed.

Good news, is it not?

She has a baby now.


you're a grandmother.

(paper crunching)

I know I should probably

stop taking these.


They calm you down, don't they?

They could become a crutch.

We all have crutches.

It's how we deal with life.

There's no side effects.

Non-additive, you'll be fine.

How do you cope?

I have my butterflies.

You haven't lost interest yet.

Habits are very hard to break.

Especially when you

still enjoy them so much.

(somber music)

Tell me about Chloe.

(foreboding music)

Come Liam.

Mommy needs to cut your nails.

(baby moaning)

(ominous music)

Such tiny, little fingers.



Hold still, baby.

Hold still.


(baby crying)


(unsettling music)

(baby screaming)

(water sloshing)

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