Writer/director Alex Garland has made a career for himself in film and TV by delivering sweepingly high-concept sci-fi with horrific, surreal twists and stunning cinematography. Movies like Ex Machina and limited series like Devs have confronted the ethical ramifications and possibilities of things like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, while projects like Annihilation have dug into the existential predicaments of alien life–and while each have certainly been scary in their own rights, none have been fully realized, capital-H Horror Movies. His latest project, Men, seeks to change that, allowing Garland to pivot from sleek, modern science fiction to the unquestionably low tech world of folk horror.
And make no mistake–Men is absolutely a horror movie. It focuses on a woman named Harper (Jessie Buckley) who, in the aftermath of a massive personal tragedy relating to the death of her husband, attempts to get away from it all by renting out a sprawling pastoral country home in rural England in an effort to process some of the emotional fallout. The owner of the property she rents is an awkward but seemingly harmless man named Jeffery (Rory Kinnear) who gives her the lay of the land and then leaves her on her own. Naturally, things start to go off the rails almost immediately, and a strange encounter in the woods leaves Harper feeling alone and exposed in an unfamiliar house, surrounded by strange men who apparently wish to do her harm.
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