Men (2022)

Men is a 2022 folk horror film written and directed by Alex Garland. It follows the a widowed young woman (Jessie Buckley) who goes on holiday alone in the English countryside but gets disturbed by the men in the town (all played by Rory Kinnear). 

Harper Marlowe decides to spend a holiday in the small village of Cotson following the suicide of her husband James. In flashbacks, it is revealed that Harper is fed up with James’ abuse and emotional outbursts, intending to divorce him, leading him to threaten her with killing himself and hitting her when she continues to reject him. Harper locks James out of their flat and sees him him fall from upstairs balcony to his death. 

Sometime later, Harper pulls up to the house she is renting, where she is met by its owner, Geoffrey. She goes for a walk in the woods and finds an old railroad tunnel. A mysterious figure appears at the end of the tunnel and start chasing her, but she gets away. Coming upon an open field, she takes a picture of it on her phone, capturing a naked man standing near an abandoned building. Later, as Harper is video chatting with her friend Riley, she notices the naked man in her yard, having followed her from the tunnel. She calls the police and he is arrested. She goes to a church and meets a young boy with a female cartoon character like mask and a vcar, who both  bear similarity to Geoffrey and the vicar tries to rationalize James hitting her.  At a pub in town, one of the policemen (who also looks like Geoffrey) tells Harper that the naked man was released as they had no legal evidence to keep him detained. 

Harper tells Riley this and she agrees to come in the morning, but as Harper tries to send her the address her service is interrupted. She sees the policeman in her yard, but as her lights flicker, he changes into the young boy, who chases her into the house. She defends herself with a knife and a window breaks in the kitchen. Geoffrey arrives and finds that the window breaking is do to a crow flying into it, which he then kills by breaking its neck. As Geoffrey goes into the yard, he is changed into the naked man, who chases her again. When he tries to reach her through the mail slot, she stabs him, but he manages to pull his arm free, the stuck knife ripping his arm in two. Both the boy and the vicar appear in the house, both of them correspondingly injured. The vicar tries to rape Harper but she stabs him and runs out of the house. 

A24 is known for extremely bizarre, disturbing and quite confusing movies. This film starts out really good, but takes a major nose dive, like much of A24’s motion pictures. It just gets stranger and stranger, stupider and stupider as the fillm reaches the climax and then just ends abruptly. The trailer for this movie makes it look like a great bizarre thriller, which, great it is not, bizarre it is and thrilling, pretty thrilling in lots of scenes. Most of the scenes towards the end, will have you saying “WTF?!” Because they are so weird, just plain stupid, they make no sense whatsoever. 

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina was an outstanding film, so I was expecting something just as good and this was a HUGE disappointment. I don’t understand how anyone could find this film even remotely good, as I found it just plain bad. It starts out good, but very slow and rather disturbing, being the scenes of domestic violence and suicide . The acting is great, the scenery is beauty, as is the music, but story is too strange and unsettling and at times, confusing. 

One male villain covered in blood, giving birth to another one and then that one and so on until Harper’s dead ex-husband is reborn is about as weird as it gets for a movie. It’s never explained how Geoffrey could turn into all those male characters and how he knew about her situation when she didn’t rent the house under her married name and he had never even met her before. The director has you guessing about so many things that never get answered and I’m sure that’s what he was going for, but that made it hard for me to watch. 

Being a big fan of horror and art films and reading the rave reviews, I was really hoping to like this movie, but it was nothing more another typical A24 production. Now I don’t hate all of their films, I really like Ladybird and Moonlight, but it just seems that most of the motion pictures they put out are like Men and Herediary. Don’t waste your time with this stupid, disgusting, mess of a movie. 18+ 1.5/5 

Top 70 Hardest Movies to Watch

  1. Antichrist – 2009
  2. Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh and Blood – 1985
  3. A Serbian Film – 2010
  4. Irreversible – 2002
  5. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom – 1975
  6. Shoah – 1985
  7. Grave of the Fireflies – 1988
  8. Bone Tomahawk – 2015
  9. We Are the Flesh – 2016
  10. Pig – 2017
  11. Baskin – 2015
  12. Hostel – 2005
  13. A Clockwork Orange – 1971
  14. The Exorcist – 1973
  15. Se7ven – 1995
  16. Man Bites Dog -1992
  17. The Bunny Game – 2012
  18. Night and Fog – 1956
  19. Deadgirl – 2008
  20. Happiness – 1998
  21. Oldboy – 2003
  22. Eyes Without a Face – 1960
  23. Begotten – 1990
  24. Ichi the Killer – 2001
  25. Eraserhead – 1977
  26. Inside – 2007
  27. The Last House on the Left – 1972
  28. Aftermath – 1994
  29. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – 1986
  30. Pink Flamingos – 1972
  31. Nekromantik – 1987
  32. Audition – 1999
  33. Cannibal Holocaust – 1980
  34. In a Glass Cage – 1987
  35. Requiem for a Dream – 2000
  36. Titicut Follies – 1967
  37. August Underground – 2001
  38. August Underground’s Mordum – 2003
  39. Visitor Q – 2001
  40. Blood Feast – 2003
  41. Martyrs – 2008
  42. Man Behind the Sun – 1988
  43. I Stand Alone – 1988
  44. High Tension – 2003
  45. Kill List – 2012
  46. Snowtown – 2011
  47. Funny Games – 2007
  48. Gummo – 1997
  49. We Need to Talk About Kevin – 2011
  50. The Human Centipede Trilogy – 2009-2015
  51. Natural Born Killers – 1994
  52. Raw – 2016
  53. Mother! – 2017
  54. The Hills Have Eyes – 1977
  55. Bite – 2015
  56. Slither – 2006
  57. Voyage to Agatis – 2010
  58. Grotesque – 2009
  59. Found – 2012
  60. The Virgin Spring – 1960
  61. American History X – 1998
  62. Deliverance – 1972
  63. Battle Royale – 2000
  64. Midsommar – 2019
  65. The ABC’s of Death – 2012
  66. Enter the Void – 2009
  67. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 1974
  68. Saw Films – 2004-2017
  69. Psycho – 1960
  70. The Skin I Live In – 2011

The Batman (2022)

The Batman is a 2022 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman and directed by Matt Reeves, who wrote the screenplay with Peter Craig. It stars Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis and Colin Ferrell. The film follows Batman, who has been fighting crime in Gotham City for two years, unveil criminality while going after the Riddler, a seriel killer who goes after Gotham’s high society citizans. 

On Halloween, Gotham City mayor Don Mitchell Jr. is murdered by a man who calls himself the Riddler. Hermitlike billionaire Bruce Wayne, who has worked as the sharp-eyed Batman, investigates with the Gotham City Police Department. Lieutenant James Gordon finds a message written for Batman by the Riddler, but Commissioner Pete Savage scolds him for bringing hero to the crime scene and makes Batman leave. The Riddler soon after kills Savage and leaves another message for Batman. 

Batman and Gordon find a thumb drive left behind in Mitchell’s car containing pictures of Mitchell with a lady, Annika Koslov, at the Iceberg Lounge – a nightclub operated by the Penguin, mobster Carmine Falcone’s lieutenant. While the Penguins pleads stupidity, Batman notices that Selina Kyle, Annika’s roommate, works as a waitess at the nightclub. Batman follows her home to ask Annika questions, but the roommates disappears, so he sends Selina back to the club to get answers. Selina shuts off comunication with Batman when asks her about her relationship with Falcone. 

The Riddler abuducts Colson, straps a timed collar bomb to his necks and forces him to interrupt Mitchell’s funeral. When Batman showas up, the Riddler calls him via Colson’s phone and threatens to denotate the bomb if Colson cannot answer any of the riddlers his is given. Batman helps him answer the first two, but Colson refuses to answer the third one, because the answer maybe the Penguin, who may track him to make a drug deal. 

Batman and Gordon follow the Riddler’s track to a runned down orphanage, funded my Bruce’s murdered parents, where they learn that the Riddler holds a grudge against the Wayne family. Selina tells Batman that Falcone is her father, though Falcone doesn’t know. She learns that Falcone strangles Annika because Mitchell told her that Falcone was the witness and decides to kill him. Batman and Gordon arrive at the lounge in time to stop her, but the Riddler kills Falcone as he is arrested. The Riddler is unmasked as forensic accountant Edward Nashton and incarcerated in Arkham State Hospital, where he complains about failing to kill Bruce. He doesn’t realize Bruce is Batman, whom he idolizes when he became a criminal. Batman learns through searching Nashton’s apaprtmant, that he has stationed car bombs around Gotham and had an online following that plans to kill the may-elect. 

Being a big fan of Christian Bale’s Batman, I was skeptical about Robert Pattion playing the character, but he does a great job. The film is action packed, violent, disturbing and uses lots of foul langauge. Over half of the movie is filmed at night. The effects are great, the all of the costumes are fantastic, except for Selina’s/Catwoman’s mask, that’s basically just a pointed ski mask that’s been cut up. At least the terrible Halle Berry Catwoman had a sexier costume. 

Robert Pattinson is outstanding as Batman, bringing to the character a ruggedness, toughness and sensitiveness. Zoe Kravitz is great as Seline Kyle aka Catwoman, bringing sexiness and resilience to her role. Paul Dano is amazing as the Riddler. Colin Ferrell is fantastic as the Penguin and the costumes and makeup are so well done for his character, that he is completely unrecognizable. Jeffrey Wright does a superb job as James Gordon and John Turturro is terrific as Carmine Falcone. Peter Sargaard does a fine job as Gil Colson and Andy Serkis equally good as Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler. 

The film is very well done, but parts are very slow and too much time is spent on the Riddler, so the movie should have been called The Riddler and not The Batman. It is a very long film at nearly three hours and does drag on, making wonder if it’s ever going to end. I found myself at times very bored and some scenes are really hard to watch, especially those involving the Riddler. Many scenes are too long like the scene in which Batman, Gordon and the rest of the investigators are investigating Riddler’s apartment. The Riddler escapes his home and they just stay a bit too much longer inspecting his place, instead of trying to capture and lock him up and then going back to his place. Also the scene where Batman visits Naston in jail and Nashton starts getting angry and upset, is stretched out too far and Batman doesn’t get to say much to him. 

Had the film been shorter, less violent and disturbing and had more sunlight, it would’ve been more enjoyable. It wasn’t awful, because the acting, costumes, makeup and cinematography was magnificent, but it wasn’t sensational. Sorry Matt Reeves, but Christopher Nolan’s Batman has you beat. 18+ 3.5/5