From the start, Antlers, directed by Scott Cooper, has set the mood and depressive tone perfectly. The visuals also make the audience feel anxious and uncomfortable. Dark colors and grime, views of animal carcasses, coupled with all the bad news its characters have to accept, Antlers has been horrified before even the legendary monsters have infiltrated the screen.
The main character is Julia (Keri Russell), a teacher who returns to her miserable hometown after she flees to another city due to past trauma. He lives with his younger brother, Paul (Jesse Plemons), who is now the local sheriff.
The work looks noble but actually it is a compulsion because no one wants to do the heavy work that Paul does. At first glance, this reunion between brothers and sisters feels touching. But when Cooper invites the audience to dive deeper into their history, the wounds turn out to be quite deep.
Then there is Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas), Julia’s student who looks very worried. Not only was he physically emaciated and unkempt, Lucas seemed terrified all the time. Not only does Lucas have to deal with the bullies that plague him at school, Julia finds Lucas seems to be being abused at home. The thing he was very familiar with thanks to his father’s behavior.
Produced by creature and mystery film mogul, Guillermo del Toro (whose latest film Nightmare Alley is also currently in theaters), Antlers of course presents creatures that are quite chilling.
Although the mythology of the creature is not well-constructed (the script was written by C. Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca and Scott Cooper himself), but at least when he really terrorizes, fans of similar films will not be disappointed.
As a horror thriller , Antlers may not be as thrilling as A Quiet Place . But the haunted atmosphere is enough to make me feel at home while watching it. The gloomy and depressive visuals became a stark contrast as blood splattered everywhere. Even when Cooper saves his monster in the third act, the tension he builds is enough to make me wary.
It’s not really that hard to see Antlers as an allegory about trauma. Moreover, the “myth” presented in this film is about creatures that change bodies. It seems that this is also a trend in today’s horror films, which are more than just jump scares and cheap thrills .
Cooper’s decision to explore this, especially when the audience is invited to get acquainted with Julia’s trauma, makes Antlers a little more weighty. It’s really fun to watch the dynamics of the relationship between Julia and Paul, played so well by Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons, against the backdrop of a monster movie.
Not all viewers will probably enjoy Antlers. The pace is a bit slow. And as a film that offers terror, it focuses more on the atmosphere than on the terror itself. He is also sometimes confused about what kind of movie (drama about abuse or monster movie?).
But if you are a slow-burning lover with a fairly stomping third act, I highly recommend Antlers. With top markotop visuals, excellent player acting (Jeremy T. Thomas will make you sad), and terror that is well-made with graphics, Antlers is a horror thriller that deserves to be tasted.
guillermo del toro