When the first reactions to the new A24 horror movie Men came out, a lot of critics mentioned one disturbing element from Alex Garland’s third directorial effort — the body horror. “Brilliant” and “memorable” were two words used to describe what goes down, and now the reviews are in to expand on what audiences can expect come May 20.
Starring 2022 Oscar nominee Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear, Men appears to be pretty horrifying judging from its trailer, moving away from the director’s sci-fi leanings featured in his past projects, Ex Machina and Annihilation. The movie sees Harper Marlowe (Buckley) vacationing in the English countryside after the death of her husband in a town filled with men played by Rory Kinnear.
Let’s see what the reviews have to say, particularly about the body horror of it all, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Men. Eric Eisenberg gives the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars, saying the actors are brilliant, and every frame of the movie adds to the symbolism of Alex Garland’s message, but not in a distracting way. Audiences will face specific fears as the director embraces the fantastical:
Valerie Complex of Deadline says no viewer will be left unscathed, calling it a frightening exploration of a suffering woman’s mind, and Jessie Buckley matches Rory Kinnear’s energy as he embodies his multiple roles with fervor. However, she says the film is frustratingly vague, and its ambiguity leads to weaken the statement Alex Garland is trying to make:
David Ehrlich of IndieWire grades the film a B, saying that anyone familiar with Alex Garland’s work will know that his take on toxic masculinity isn’t going to be easily digestible. Garland’s projects all make statements about self-definition, and Men shows an unnerving picture that audiences won’t be able to unsee:
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter calls Men a mind-bending dissection of manhood, and its reproductive imagery and body horror prosthetics are gruesomely effective. The descent into the grotesque is “dizzying,” and the ending is open to interpretation, which will likely make it a talker amongst horror lovers:
Brianna Zigler of The Playlist grades the movie a B, saying Men is sneaky in its self-awareness. That sneakiness, the review contends, starts in the trailer, which is intentionally made to look like any other horror movie. In the end, Men is a surprising slice of mutation horror:
Grotesque, disgusting body horror seems to be what viewers can expect from this one, along with a complex statement on masculinity. It sounds like audiences will be invited to draw a lot of their own conclusions about the message delivered in this offering from Alex Garland and A24.
If you’d like to check it out, Men is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, May 20. In the meantime, check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what other films are coming soon to theaters.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.