Men - Review
Forbidden Fruit. 3 / 5
Released in UK Cinemas: 1st June 2022
Directed by Alex Garland.
In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to find a place to heal. But someone — or something — from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her, and what begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears.
I have spent a while trying to gather my thoughts on Alex Garland's latest Men. I love his previous work but this was a significantly more challenging watch… and then there's the case of that final act.
Following the surprisingly recurring A24 horror trope of trauma and grief, Jessie Buckley escapes to the country after her husband's traumatic and sudden death to a village seemingly overran by Rory Kinnear(s). The feeling of dread builds from its opening moments, slowly unraveling the mystery contrasting the welcoming vast countryside with impending claustrophobia.
With symbolism teased throughout, it all comes to a head in one of the wildest and most unexpected final acts which regrettably overshadows all that came before it leaving audiences dazed and confused. Honestly, the less said about it the better but the gruesome imagery and unanticipated absurdity will be burnt into my brain for eternity. While it didn't ruin the film for me, I was left dumbstruck by how we arrived at this eye-opening destination.
All of this leaves a tarnished taste in the mouth, dividing audiences but leaving everyone disorientated and left to piece how it all fits together.