Antebellum (Featuring Production Meetings)
Special thanks to Clint Frederick from Production Meetings for sharing this review with us! Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the review for more from Clint and Production Meetings! We do weekly videos covering a whole bunch of topics, so be sure to check them out!
Antebellum (2020) movie review
The wish to go back in time is shared by many. I know that there are certain historical events that I would love to see. Admittedly, all are mine are kind of morbid. I would like to see who Jack the Ripper was, who really killed JFK, and of course who the Zodiac Killer really was. These are my historic mysteries I want solved! However, for a lot of us, history wouldn’t be so kind. But what if someone from an African American background was forced to travel in time? Directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz (both of whom directed Kill Jay-Z) try to paint that horrific picture with this year’s Antebellum.
I’m going to go off script for a minute and just tell you that if you haven’t seen any trailers for this movie or have not read any other reviews for this film…don’t. I am also going to risk my ‘reputation’ and ask you that if you really are interested in see this film, stop reading this. Watch this film for yourself and create your own opinion. If you are on the fence about seeing this, please…continue reading and maybe I can push you either way.
The Bad: The marketing. I know that English writing rules state that I cannot have a two-word sentence when writing in essay form, but I did. The reason for this is because there is no greater crime to this film than…the marketing. Firstly, this is categorized as a horror film. WRONG. This is a thriller/survivalist film at best. Secondly, if you are smart (like I know all of you are) you will figure out the ‘plot twist’ by just watching the trailers. If not from the trailers, then at least by reading a synopsis of this film.
Next is the execution of this film. For some reason, the writers/directors of this film think that they are cleaver when it comes to trying to hide the twist of this film, but they are not. The introduce this film in ‘the past’, then halfway through the film they show the main character, Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe Hidden Figures), in ‘the future’. Now I know that this isn’t a bad thing, however the filmmakers then spoon-feed you all the information and ‘easter eggs’ you need to figure out where the film is going and how this film is going to resolve itself.
The Good: The premise. I did it again and I am not really sorry. There is a great and intriguing premise to this movie. I think that if this story was in more capable or more cleaver hands, this story would have been an interesting dive into social commentary and fun to watch.
Monáe’s performance is not horrible either. She is given this difficult task to get the audience to empathize with her immediately and then try to follow her on this journey that is not disguised very well. Monáe does connect better with the audience when you see her ‘future’ self because then you are given the backstory to this character.
The Verdict: This film is a The Village rip off that does a disservice to the message that it is ultimately trying to make. The heart of these filmmakers and Ms. Monáe is definitely in the right place, but they thought that if they made this film to obscure that we, the audience, wouldn’t get it. However, you need to have faith in your audience…also maybe cut the movie differently and don’t spoil the twist with your marketing campaigns.
Not Worth Your Time.
Thanks again to Clint Frederick from Production Meetings for sharing his thoughts with us! He has just a ton of film reviews over on his website, and as I mentioned above, we do weekly news covering a variety of film, television, and video game things, so be sure to check those out as well!
Production Meetings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyr99P_bCIbAI27Xqu8fxiA