Antebellum (2020) Review: Stylish Trash (Written By Jaeden Noel)
Well, that was...something. Antebellum is the new "horror" film directed by Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz. The film stars Janelle Monáe, Jena Malone and Robert Aramayo. One of the many films to be shuffled around and evidently disposed discreetly throughout the year, it follows Veronica (Janelle Monáe) in a horrifying reality in which she trapped in a horrifying modern day slave reality, and must find her way out to escape it. At least that's what they want you to think. But let's get into it.
Antebellum has to be one of the most misleading, falsely advertised films I have ever seen. Not only does this lack any horror elements what so ever, but it is one of the worst written films EVER. The film starts off at the plantation with a beautifully crafted opening sequence highlighting this slavery filled environment. What's shown is graphic and horrific. But it's not horror. That lasts about 35 minutes longer than it should have. The entire time, the film gives you no explanation as to what and why any of this is happening and almost expects that the viewer is well aware of the world we are witnessing. Playing out as a drama for that chunk, eventually the second act begins to lay down some most needed character establishment or as I'd say it: finally starting the movie. But instead of exploring this slave based plantation more, we are jolted into what we are supposed to assume is the "real world" which is straight up boring. It isn't until about 50 minutes in that we are finally properly introduced to all the characters including Veronica. It feels like that first act was something filmed that they just didn't know where to put.
For the rest of the film, it's just more character introduction, pointless situations and scenes that contribute nothing to the film whatsoever. It isn't until the last 30 minutes that we are brought back to the plantation where things do start to finally unfold. Unfortunately by that time the odds of you caring about what happens are very unlikely. It's almost as if the entire second act could have just been eliminated, which probably wouldn't be a bad idea because this could of been a pretty solid short film if it was just that.
There are some minor positives however. The cinematography is amazing & Janelle Monáe delivers a solid performance. Jena Malone plays a good asshole as usual but none of that is enough to save this dumpster fire of a movie. At the end of the day Antebellum is a joke of a horror movie that lacks any properly structured elements. Imagine this came out in theatres...yikes.
Antebellum gets a 1/5
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