Disco Inferno, the Netflix short film, is directed by Mathew Castellanos and at the helm of affairs we see a woman who is facing her fears during pregnancy and feeling like a malevolent spirit is going to take her baby. What she witnesses is something along the lines of a postpartum nightmare, the only difference being that she has still not given birth. The director brings forth a narrative that swings between imagination and reality, and he leaves it up to us how we perceive the entire thing. So, let’s go back in time to the scarred lanes of Oakwood in California and find out what was happening there.
Who was Sister Lynn?
At the beginning of Disco Inferno, we saw an old woman in the confession box of a church, admitting that she had killed an anonymous woman and taken her baby. That old woman was Sister Lynn, and all her life, she bore the regret that she couldn’t give birth. Sister Lynn often questioned the almighty and asked him why he had cursed her when she had all the qualities of an exceptional mother, and additionally, she had spent her entire life in the service of God. Sister Lynn probably got jealous of every other woman who was able to get pregnant, and when, after all these years, she realized that no miracle was going to happen to her, she completely lost her mind. Her jealousy and insanity overpowered her conscience, and she murdered a woman whom she didn’t deem fit to be a mother.
Sister Lynn knew deep down that she had committed a sin, but she had become so deranged that she gave herself reasons as to why what she had done was right. She had dreams of having the girl child all by herself, bringing her up in the best possible manner, and, most of all, experiencing what it felt like to be a mother. But sister Lynn met her fateful end soon after that, and she decided to commit suicide in her own church. Her end was as tragic as her life, though the child she had taken from the woman was still alive. Probably, the little girl was handed over to the social services by the clergymen of the church, and approximately 18 years later, we got to know that she grew up to be a brilliant dancer. Soon after Sister Lynn’s death, the church was abandoned, as people would have stopped coming there after getting to know what had happened to her. People left, and times changed, but the vengeful spirit of sister Lynn lingered there, waiting for its next prey.
What was happening between Mel and Brandon?
Mel and Brandon were taking part in a dancing competition, and they reached the finals. The grand finale was supposed to take place in the club named Inferno, which was being opened on that same day. Inferno was built on the same ground as the church, and the dark and dingy alley, where one could only see a ramshackle church, was now buzzing with life as people gathered there to experience the nightlife of America. Inferno promised to be the best club in the entire city of California, and people had been waiting in lines to have the time of their lives. Brandon was feeling very nervous, as he knew that the moment had come when it would be decided if all their hard work paid off or not.
Mel told Brandon she had more faith in him than she had in her own abilities. She assured him that he would be able to pull off a scintillating performance. Mel was talking to Brandon when she noticed an old woman staring at her from one of the balconies on the first floor. It was at that moment that Mel felt sick, and she went to the restroom. Mel hadn’t told Brandon that she was pregnant because she was not sure how he would react. Memo, who worked at the club and was close to Mel, came to the restroom and told her that she was getting nervous for no reason at all. She told her that Brandon was a great guy, and he would be very happy when he would get to know that Mel was pregnant with his baby. Mel cleaned herself, and she was about to go to the dance floor when she once again saw that old woman, who was none other than her Sister Lynn, who had come to take her baby, and that’s when we realized that Mel was the same girl whose mother had been killed by sister Lynn all those years back.
Did Sister Lynn take Mel’s baby?
It was probably the dilemma that a soon-to-be mother went through that attracted the spirit of Sister Lynn to take their baby. During Disco Inferno’s ending, Sister Lynn entered into a sort of altercation with Mel, and the latter fought hard to protect her baby from being taken by the evil spirit. Mel started shouting, and that’s when Brandon came to the room where she was lying on the floor. Mel came back to her senses, and she told Brandon that she was pregnant. Brandon was more than happy after listening to the news and that happiness made the spirit of Sister Lynn go away. Brandon lifted Mel in his arms and went out of the club. They were not able to perform that night, but Brandon was the happiest man, knowing that he was going to be a father.
There are two ways to perceive this narrative: the first is that we believe that the ghost of sister Lynn lingered on in reality and sought to take the babies of the women who were unsure about becoming mothers or who, alternatively, weren’t deemed worthy of being mothers. The other way of seeing it is that the spirit of sister Lynn was an embodiment of the fears that Mel was having after she came to know that she was pregnant. It wasn’t like she didn’t want a baby, but she was experiencing something similar to stage fright, where as much as a performer wants to be on stage, they fear that something will go wrong. Whatever the case would have been, the point was that Mel made it out of there alive, and she would be able to commence a new journey with the love of her life.