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 

The Greatest UK Films of All Time

  1. The Railway Children – 1970
  2. This is England – 2006
  3. Braveheart – 1995
  4. Philomena – 2013
  5. Hedd Wyn – 1992
  6. God’s Own Country – 2017
  7. Comfort and Joy – 1984
  8. The Quiet Man – 1952
  9. Solomon & Gaenor – 1999
  10. Dr. No – 1963
  11. Gregory’s Girl – 1981
  12. Sing Street – 2016
  13. Mr. Jones – 2019
  14. The offence – 1973
  15. Local Hero – 1983
  16. Brooklyn – 2015
  17. Pin Cushion – 2017
  18. Picadilly – 1929
  19. Rob Roy – 1995
  20. The Crying Game – 1992
  21. Ray & Liz – 2018
  22. Four Weddings and a Funeral – 1994
  23. Skyfall – 2012
  24. The Young Offenders – 2016
  25. Sleep Furiously – 2007
  26. Edvard Munch – 1974
  27. Sweet Sixteen – 2002
  28. My Left Foot – 1990
  29. Three Identical Strangers – 2018
  30. Oliver! – 1968
  31. Whiskey Galore! – 1949
  32. The Snapper – 1993
  33. Tiger Bay – 1959
  34. Topsy-Turvy – 1999
  35. Sunshine on Leith – 2013
  36. In the Name of the Father – 1993
  37. Misbehaviour – 2020
  38. Walkabout – 1971
  39. Shallow Grave – 1994
  40. Bloody Sunday – 2002
  41. Submarine – 2010
  42. This Sporting Life – 1963
  43. Brigadoon – 1954
  44. Frank – 2014
  45. Pink Wall – 2019
  46. Dunkirk – 2017
  47. Gwen – 2018
  48. 24 Hour Party People – 2002
  49. Highlander – 1986
  50. The Commitments – 1991
  51. Ethel & Ernest – 2016
  52. Zulu – 1964
  53. Neds – 2010
  54. The Magdalene Sisters – 2002
  55. Bastards – 2014
  56. Land and Freedom – 1995
  57. Mrs. Brown – 1997
  58. In America – 2002
  59. A Way of Life – 2004
  60. The Go-Between – 1971
  61. Ratcatcher – 1999
  62. The Wind That Shakes the Barley – 2006
  63. Just Jim – 2015
  64. The Bridge on the River Kwai – 1957
  65. The Illusionist – 2006
  66. The Secret of Kells – 2010
  67. Grand Slam – 1978
  68. Night and the City – 1950
  69. The 39 Steps – 1935
  70. The Guard – 2011
  71. The Citadel – 1938
  72. Fish Tank – 2009
  73. Tunes of Glory – 1960
  74. Michael Collins – 1996
  75. Orlando – 1992
  76. Culloden – 1964
  77. Cardboard Gangsters – 2017
  78. Hang Up Your Brightest Colors -1973
  79. Blue – 1993
  80. Alfie – 1966
  81. The Prime of Jean Brodie – 1969
  82. Kisses – 2008
  83. The Falls – 1980
  84. Brief Encounter – 1945
  85. The Wicker Man – 1973
  86. The Secret of Ronan Inish – 1994
  87. How Green Was My Valley – 1941
  88. Second Best – 1994
  89. Kind Hearts and Coronets – 1949
  90. Restless Natives – 1985
  91. Maudie – 2016
  92. Pride – 2014
  93. The Ladykillers – 1955
  94. Breaking the Waves – 1996
  95. The General – 1998
  96. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness – 1958
  97. Brighton Rock – 1948
  98. Trainspotting – 1996
  99. The Killing of a Sacred Deer – 2017
  100. The Lion in WInter – 1968