Rose takes a hiatus from work after her patient’s death and attends her nephew Jackson’s birthday party. Her relationship with her sister, Holly, is far from perfect as they’ve both taken drastically different paths after their mother’s death. Rose and the audience are begging for a break from this relentless tension, but when it’s time to open Auntie Rose’s gift, Jackson reaches into the box and pulls out Rose’s dead cat, Mustache. Rose tries to explain it wasn’t her and ends up falling through a table, getting glass shards in her arms, and screaming bloody murder in front of the shocked party guests.
We’ve all witnessed a kid fake they like a gift from an out-of-touch relative, but this one takes the proverbial cake. Mustache goes missing earlier in the film, and the script allows enough time to pass, so a dead cat is the last thing we expect in that box. Watching Rose plead that she didn’t do it in front of a room full of horrified families is gut-wrenching. How could she possibly make them believe her?
When Rose crashes through the table, her arms get riddled with shards and ooze blood. It’s a grotesque sight to behold. The entity slowly isolates Rose by making others think she’s losing her mind, feeding on these moments like appetizers before the main course. After this birthday party, everyone involved will need years of therapy.