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Antlers Movie Review

Antlers Movie Review
Scott Cooper made himself a director to watch right out of the gate in 2009 with "Crazy Heart," the movie that won Jeff Bridges his elusive Oscar. The film waded in familiar territory, but many thought debut director Cooper had a bright filmmaking future ahead of him. Since then he hasn't found his voice as a director, instead going from project-to-project with no established style or footprint ("Out of the Furnace," "Black Mass" and "Hostiles" don't really have much of a legacy). His latest, "Antlers," is his foray into the horror genre, and the result is a movie that can't decide what it wants to be.

Like any horror film that doesn't quite have the plot to support it, "Antlers" tries to skate by on atmosphere. It's set in Oregon, where everything is drab and dreary, signaling that something bad has happened or will happen to these characters. The movie opens with Frank Weaver (Scott Haze) leaving his son Aidan (Sawyer Jones) in his truck when he goes to take care of something. While he's gone, something terrible happens, which upends the lives of Frank's young sons.

The movie takes us to a few weeks later, where Julia (Keri Russell) is teaching her elementary school class about myths and fairytales. Julia, who lives with her police officer brother Paul (Jesse Plemmons), takes an interest in Frank's other son, Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas), who is quiet and withdrawn from everyone around him. He's the target of bullies, and Julia tries to get him to open up to her, though rarely with any success. She then takes it upon herself to investigate his life outside of the classroom.

"Antlers" is one of those horror movies that carries itself with a certain level of faux-prestige. The studio releasing the movie is Searchlight Pictures, which just won Best Picture for last year's "Nomadland," and they typically release mid-budget adult films or period pieces that find themselves at year-end award ceremonies. Also, Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro is credited as one of the film's producers (full-on producer, not executive producer), who won his Oscars for "The Shape of Water," another Searchlight title. Such credentials could give a movie a false sense of security, but "Antlers" is such an empty and dull exercise in setting and design that it forgets to have story to go along with it.

When the third act rolls around, Graham Greene's character explains what's happening in their town. It never feels like a surprise third act reveal, which should be taking place at this point in the movie. Instead, it feels like Cooper's script, which he co-wrote with Henry Chaisson and Nick Antosca, based on Antosca's short story, finally decided to have a plot. It's fun to play with the horror elements, but in service of what? This is what "Antlers" can't decide on.

Between the talk of mythology and the background noise regarding environmental issues, "Antlers" dips its toe into trying to be a weightier horror flick, but the elements just aren't working together to achieve that. It's the Halloween season and audiences might be looking for something spooky to see at the multiplexes, but "Antlers" is just a miserable experience.

Antlers Movie Review By Matthew Passantin

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Antlers Movie Review Antlers Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, October 31, 2021 Rating: 5

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