What is Clock about? Hulu horror movie explained

Dianna Agron as Ella Patel in ClockHulu

Horror fans, listen up. Clock, a gruesome new movie that details the horrors of motherhood, has just dropped on Hulu and Disney+ – so, here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching.

The genre hasn’t been short of new entries in 2023, from franchise hits like Scream 6 and Evil Dead Rise to breakouts such as The Pope’s Exorcist and M3GAN

But it’s been a while since we’ve had a major body horror, one that will make your toes curl and your stomach churn with its grotesque and disturbing violations of human biology. 

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Enter Clock, a feature-length flick from Hulu that will make you feel all those things and more – so, with the movie now available for streaming, here’s everything you need to know and if it’s worth watching.

What is Clock about?

Clock is a 90-minute feature-length debut from Alexis Jacknow, acting as a gruesome metaphor for the societal pressures placed on women to have babies. 

Check out the trailer below:

The official synopsis reads: “Clock is the story of a woman who enrolls in a clinical trial to try and fix her seemingly broken biological clock after friends, family, and society pressures her to have children.”

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As you might imagine, with the movie being a horror-thriller, the plot takes a grisly turn as the lead character Ella embarks on a desperate quest to want to want kids. 

Not only does the narrative highlight the expectations of women, but also the added cultural pressure that can be present within Jewish families, something Jacknow wanted to highlight in her film. 

Speaking to Fangoria, she explained: “I’m Jewish. I feel those pressures from a racial, ethnic, and religious perspective. I feel an even greater weight and responsibility because there are so few of us left and because of what has been brought upon my race pretty much once a century for the last however many thousands of years. The Jewish line is traced through the women, and so there is this added expectation.

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“It’s deeply personal in that way, and I think you always want to turn the boiler to high with your characters. I thought, well, how could we turn the pressure cooker up on her [Ella]? And it was to let her be Jewish and let that become part of the equation of the pressures she feels to bear children.”

Jacknow added: “And that’s what I want with this movie is for people to feel less alone and to say, ‘I’m not the only one asking these questions or having these feelings.’ I mean, many cultures have been persecuted or even have personal stories, it just feels like this huge responsibility that we have to bear.”

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Clock cast: Who’s in it?

The cast for Clock includes: 

  • Dianna Agron as Ella Patel
  • Jay Ali as Aidan Patel
  • Melora Hardin as Dr. Elizabeth Simmons
  • Saul Rubinek as Joseph
  • Grace Porter as Shauna

As well as being a personal story for Jacknow, Agron said she too is familiar with the themes present within Clock. In an interview with Movieweb, the Glee star explained: “Similarly, I’m in my later 30s, and I have chosen to not have kids up until this point. And I’ve experienced many people who have opinions about that. 

Melora Hardin as Dr. Elizabeth Simmons in ClockHulu
Melora Hardin as Dr. Elizabeth Simmons in Clock

“When I read the script, I felt a sense of relief that it existed. And Alexis and I had a beautiful conversation about what this would be in the landscape. I also received this wonderful lookbook that Alexis put together, so I understood what the textures and colors and feelings [of the film] would be.”

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In the same conversation, Hardin elaborated on her role as the lead doctor of the clinical trial Ella attends. “The character is a really brilliant character, but she has her own ambitions to create this very cutting-edge technique,” she said. “She thinks she’s doing something good for women, but I think she’s lost sight of what these women really are like.”

Is Clock worth watching?

Clock has premiered to mixed reviews, earning a respectable 79% with the critics but just a 55% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Ultimately, the just-above-middle audience rating could be something to do with the fact that the Hulu horror movie is rather gruesome in numerous ways – as well as a few jump scares, there are scenes that could have left some viewers feeling rather queasy. 

Nonetheless, the reaction from the critics has been mostly positive, with Variety writing: “Alexis Jacknow amps up the anxiety by blending science and religion into paranoia-soaked mayhem, conjuring resonant emotion and haunting menace in this psychological horror film.”

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The Los Angeles Times added, “Clock leans too heavily on too-obvious visual metaphors, but it’s still a vivid and visceral explication of one woman’s fears.” Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal said: “Ms. Agron gives a highly intelligent performance – at no time do we doubt Ella’s awareness of how badly things might go, and while we do have questions about her judgment, the pressures she’s under are made palpable.”

Among the negative reviews, Aisle Seat wrote: “Dianna Agron and Melora Hardin give fine performances amid the nonsense. They’re just another reason to wish that Clock had more depth and coherence than it does.”

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If you think you can stomach it, Clock is available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ now. Find out about the ending here, and check out our other horror coverage here.

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