Men (2022)

Men (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Men (2022)
Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear and Paapa Essiedu
Genres: Horror/Sci-fi
Release date: 20 May 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
Languages: English
Duration: 1h 40m


Men (2022)


A review of the most controversial horror film of this year, which – without further ado – ends with my rating of nine. And I’m emphasizing mine because there’s a good chance yours will be somewhere on the very opposite end of the spectrum, which is totally fine. After all, independent director Alex Garland has once again made a film that will not only divide the audience, but he probably wants to.

The plot of the horror film Men is simple. The main character Harper (Jessie Buckley) witnesses something shocking, so she decides to get out of the city and into the countryside for a while to clear her head. But the memories keep coming back to her, and she soon discovers that even surrounded by beautiful nature, she can’t have a moment of peace in a foreign environment, because some guy keeps getting in her way. Men, respectively. Sometimes he’s a naked psycho from the forest, sometimes he’s an ill-mannered brat with a mask, but an out-of-place priest, a calm policeman, and especially funny is the somewhat intrusive but extremely brave janitor. They each look a little different, but they all have the same face because they’re all played by the great Rory Kinnear.

Men is primarily a symbolic work, the interpretation of which will be the main source of entertainment for the duration of the film. Remember Aronofsky’s movie Mother!, she also appeared at the beginning as a fairly normal motherly statement, only to end up turning out to be an absurd, cynical, and truly absorbing picture of humanity as a whole. Well, this is in reality the same thing (including the same acceptance), but instead of similar big themes, Garland focuses purely on the question of gender and also on how one ugly trauma can affect a person. And while Men won’t absorb you so much, the goal is the opposite, it will frighten you quite intensely in places. Of course, I can’t guarantee that everyone will get chills like I did at the midnight screening in Vary, but under the right circumstances, Garland’s new movie is truly creepy.

At least in the first half of the film, the director honestly follows all the genre rules, and if you get into the character of Harper in the slightest, you won’t feel very safe during her walks through the forest and subsequent phone calls from the house (this moment, by the way, has a famous camera). Some could then argue that if the picture had kept to this line and stayed more on the ground, it would have turned out better. However, I fundamentally disagree with this polemic. Of course, Garland could have made a normal rural, even a little legendary horror film. This way, in the second half, you will see shots that you never knew you (didn’t) want to see, and in addition, there will be a chance that your brain will end up scattered on the floor, as you desperately try to decode all the events on the screen. Some call it art. But for me, it’s an old, good, and particularly stylish mindfuck, which makes Men such a masterpiece. Yeah, a masterpiece, not a poser, because Garland’s imagination is far too expressive and stimulating for that.

I guess I could also mention the great craft that the talented director demonstrates, even if I don’t quite meet him (see my review of Annihilation), again the phenomenal Jessie Buckley, who is starting to build a nice reputation after this, Fargo and the similarly absurd I guess I’ll end it the actresses you call when you need to play some really weird female. However, all this can already be taken for granted, and nines are not awarded for that. No, the nine are there because Men have a unique ability to touch the viewer and evoke not only a psychological but also a physical reaction in them. Whether it’s the terror on display, or the loud metaphors in the second half. Especially the passage with repeated birth is something that just does not leave one cold. Even in this case, however, it is not a first-rate prompting.

So to sum it up. If you’re historically good at this kind of film (any alignment with Kaufman or Aronofsky is a plus), you may screw Garland with a reel like I did. If not, you’re probably in for an experience you’ll want to forget very quickly. Either way, I recommend you try it out, because the audiovisuals alone make Men worth seeing on the big screen.

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