Antlers (2021) Movie Review ‘Needs an Extra Punch’

Antlers – Needs an Extra Punch


Director: Scott Cooper

Writer: Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca, Scott Cooper (Screenplay)

Starring: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan

Plot: In an isolated Oregon town, a middle-school teacher and her sheriff brother become embroiled with her enigmatic student, whose dark secrets lead to terrifying encounters with an ancestral creature.

Tagline – Pray it desires not you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Antlers starts when a middle-school teacher Julia (Russell) returns to her hometown after years away, returning to her now sheriff brother Paul (Plemmons) to try and start a fresh life.

When Julia believes one of her students Lucas (Thomas) is suffering abuse at home, she starts to investigate, finding herself getting involved in dealing with past traumas and a supernatural creature, she doesn’t understand, but must stop.

Thoughts on Antlers

Characters & Performances – Julia is a middle-school teacher that has been through her own trauma in life, she has returned back to her hometown to face her demons and stat a new life, where her experience of abuse sees her drawn towards helping a young boy in need of help. She is strangely the only one looking to help the boy, while the rest of the town are just shrugging their shoulders. Keri Russell does well in this role, needing to show the dark past that is still in need of curing. Paul is the sheriff brother of Julia, he never left the town and has been through his own suffering, while losing apart of him that would check up on the small things wrong in the town. Jesse Plemmons doesn’t get too much time to do that much in this film, holding his skills back. Lucas is the young boy that keeps to himself, gets bullied at school, holding back what he has been through. He is trying to do the right thing, unaware of the consequences he is causing. Young Jeremy T Thomas does make this character feel distant for large parts of the film, which will make use just as worried about his character, as Julia is.

StoryAntlers has a story that will follow a schoolteacher that will use her own experience in abuse to try and help a student in her class, before finding herself getting involved in fighting back against a horrific legend within the area. Antlers does mix together a real-life experience of abuse, spotting it and trying to help a child going through it, with a traditional folk tale going on in the background. Antlers will give us the traditional introduction to characters to fill in the gaps of the history of what is going on with the creature lurking in the shadows. Sadly, the mixture doesn’t make this the most engaging story, suffering from lags in pace, returning to the same set up moments, with little payoff.

ThemesAntlers is a horror thriller that will see a folk tale created for warnings come to life, which will have the best sequences in the film, with the first introduction and what it goes onto do. The creature creation is the part of the film, you will want to see more from, despite giving us less early, will make the reveal mean more. The small town setting will show a town trapped in believing the folk tale holding them back.

Final Thoughts Antlers is a horror movie with a great creature, but a slow story.

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