ANTEBELLUM (2020) Reviews and overview

  

‘If it chooses you, nothing can save you.’

Antebellum is a 2020 American horror film about a young female author who becomes trapped in an alternate reality.

Written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. Co-produced by Sean McKittrick (Us; Get Out; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Hell Baby; Donnie Darko).

The movie stars Janelle Monáe, Marque Richardson II, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles and Jena Malone.

Plot:

Successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late…

Reviews:

“I was okay with the exaggerated nature of it, though, because that symbolism ties together the ideas inherent in the story, and, through its implications, simultaneously points to chilling possibilities of where America could be headed if we don’t get racism under control quickly. This may be the most intelligent and provocative horror film of the year.” The Aisle Seat

Antebellum is a minor disappointment in the sense that it doesn’t ultimately live up to its full promise, but it’s also a movie that has tremendous merit and important things to say while being released during a time of enhanced strife. It doesn’t fully click as a narrative, but its aspirations and messaging are admirable…” CinemaBlend

Antebellum was certainly a film with plenty of potential to explore some important timely topics while simultaneously delivering some chills and thrills, but with such a focus on the former it loses sight of how to achieve the latter that it proves a disappointment, especially in its time-bending revelations, that even its strong performances and stylish direction can’t quite save the experience.” Coming Soon

“While the film searches for meaning, at times connecting elements of how the world perceives and analyzes people simply by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character, it also struggles to focus its concepts within a muddled, unbalanced script. While the film does work as a true-to-life horror film, bringing the atrocities of the past into full detail on screen, the balance of tone and imagery is consistently at odds with one another.” Daily Dead

“The concept of  Antebellum sounds good on paper, but it’s nothing but exploitative about a history we are already familiar with. Not every horror film with a social message can be Get Out, and they shouldn’t be striving to imitate that. But they should at least be striving to stand on their own.” Den of Geek

” …can’t quite strike a balance between being a film about serious issues but also wanting to be a bit of Friday night at the movies popcorn-style fun with chases and villainy. The serious issues side is delivered with all the subtlety of repetitive sledgehammer blows […] while the ‘SF anthology TV episode’ side isn’t handled anywhere near cleverly enough…” House of Mortal Cinema

Release:

Antebellum was due to be released theatrically in the USA by Lionsgate on August 21st 2020, however, due to the ongoing first wave of the pandemic in the USA this has been cancelled and the film was released on September 18th On-Demand instead.

Antebellum will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on November 3rd 2020 via Lionsgate. Special features:

The History in Front of Us: Deconstructing Antebellum
A Hint of Horror: The Clues of Antebellum
Deleted scenes

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