Sometimes watching Horror movies is a game. You don’t always know what you’re going to get when you watch one but you push forward and experience someone’s vision. Occasionally you see one that knocks you off of your feet and makes you feel disgusted with yourself for bearing witness to it while simultaneously leaving you inspired and excited. This is how I felt when I left the theater after watching MEN. I haven’t felt this way about a movie in the theater since I went to see Hereditary. MEN is a captivating psychological horror-thriller packed with symbolism and says so much without being preachy. This is the best film I’ve seen this year.
MEN is not for everyone. This is not an easy film to watch nor is it easy to understand. The story is entertaining but dives deeper than your average flick. Some of my friends were even surprised that I liked it as much as I did as I’ve partaken in poking fun at other A24 films like Lamb and The Lighthouse. Men spoke to me through its biblical symbolism in a way that reminded me of Darren Aronofsky’s amazing work on Mother. I did appreciate the nod to Midsommar, but Men is a whole different school of film.
The less you know going into this film the better. I’ll spare you the synopsis or any spoilers on the story. My advice to you is to look for meaning within the scenes as you will find it in the nuance. The vision of MEN is made whole as director Alex Garland collaborates with cast members Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear for a story that chills the spine. To put it bluntly, this simple formula works.
I am aware that a film that leaves its audience with questions about its intention is not going to win a lot of popularity contests. Character development feels different when the protagonist represents something bigger than a person in a difficult situation or a hero in a cape on a quest to save the world. There is nothing wrong with simple entertainment but there is something very right about movies that make us think. If you are a fan of the latter then you should check out MEN.
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, singing and/or rapping, juxtaposing his style with real-life situations and subject matter. Occasionally Spoken Nerd will find inspiration in films and will put it into song. With eight full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released. His most recent release is the collaborative effort Grapes, with Juan Cosby.