Men (2022)
July 28, 2022 9:48 PM - Subscribe

In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper (Jessie Buckley) retreats to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to find a place to heal. But someone or something from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her. What begins as simmering dread becomes a fully-formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears in visionary filmmaker Alex Garland's (Ex Machina, Annihilation) feverish, shape-shifting horror film.

Rated 69% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The cast also features Rory Kinnear, Rory Kinnear, Rory Kinnear, Rory Kinnear, and Rory Kinnear.

Currently available for digital rental on multiple outlets.
posted by DirtyOldTown (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is some trippy shit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:07 AM on July 29, 2022

I read about the ending and it sounds like one of the wildest things in ages.
posted by praemunire at 8:26 AM on July 29, 2022

I honestly can't remember if it was four times in a row that a man graphically gave birth to another man or five.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:28 AM on July 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

This is an odd movie. I didn't enjoy watching it most of the time, but upon reflecting after seeing it I appreciated it. It's not a movie I ever need to see again, but an interesting meditation on how difficult it is to recover from abuse when toxic masculinity permates so much of our social interactions.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:06 PM on July 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

an interesting meditation on how difficult it is to recover from abuse when toxic masculinity permates so much of our social interactions

That's very well said, and very much what I took from it.

Weird, but do you think there is anything to the way that Rory Kinnear and Jessie Buckley have similar (well, complimentary) facial structures? (Jawline, nose, eyebrows.) Or is that just me reading too much in? Some of the CGI-ed shots of his face that were cleaner in visage looked a bit liked some of her features.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:25 PM on July 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

I don't really see the physical similarities. I did find some of the cgi (particularly "young Rory") took me out of the movie, but I'm not sure there was any way to avoid it.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:35 PM on July 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

This reminded me of Aronofsky's mother! in its unconcern with laying out a coherent story the audience could follow, but I thought it had a great sense of atmosphere and outstanding acting all around. I agree with miss-lapin that it seems like a great exploration of what the world might look like to a survivor of abuse.

I'm still not sure I get what the ending, with the man giving birth to himself, is saying in the context of the whole movie. As a standalone image it suggests to me something about toxic masculinity being passed down from father to son without any involvement from women whatsoever, but I didn't really see that theme (about the origins of toxic masculinity) explored throughout the rest of the movie. Maybe that's the point, that it seems to arise from nowhere, mysteriously, or at least mysteriously to our protagonist.

I'm also not sure what the Green Man has to do with any of this. Men has a fair share of folk-horror tropes (the isolated, rural setting; hostile county folk; hints of an older religion underlying Christianity), but I'm not sure I'd classify it as folk-horror in itself.
posted by whir at 6:37 PM on July 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

The body horror bits weren't pleasant to say the least but the psychological/emotional horror of what the protagonist goes through was even more difficult to watch! The scene in the bathroom with the priest in particular, yikes. It's clear the intent is to make you feel that repulsion. It reminded me a bit of Lars Von Trier. Which is not really a good thing lol
posted by bitteschoen at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2022

There is a positively fantastic one hour interview with Alex Garland about this film on The Final Girls Podcast. The Final Girls are a UK horror collective exploring the intersection of horror and feminism. Anna Bogutskaya does the podcast and is infallibly terrific, but on this one she goes above and beyond. Alex Garland ends up extending the 15 minute interview to roughly an hour, because he appreciates the depth of her questions. The result is miles away from the typical press junket canned quotes. It's more film scholar and filmmaker get philosophical. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Here's the link.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:02 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

The Green Man is a symbol of rebirth so the multiple male births is about how ridiculous that is.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:23 PM on July 30, 2022

The recurrent image f the green man juxtaposed with an actual woman giving birth is about how ridiculous it is that a male mythological icon (green man) represents rebirth as opposed to an actual woman giving birth.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:04 PM on July 30, 2022

I really wanted to like this going in, but in the end it just felt like listening to a band that I know I should really enjoy; my friends seem to like this band, they get good reviews, and the bands I do like say this band is really good, but I just don't get why everyone likes this band so much.

It was a well crafted, well acted, conceptually cool movie, clearly dedicated to a singular premise and with a very good and hooky high concept idea in the casting; some of the scary parts were scary, the tense parts were tense, and I was generally along for the ride...

...but ultimately it all felt a little try-hard; I see miss-lapin's take on it above and that moved my understanding and appreciation for it up a notch, but fundamentally it just didn't land with me. I definitely don't want to say that Garland should have reined it in at all; I'm glad he went for it and I'm glad I got to watch such a great expression of somebody just shooting the moon to make the movie they want to make. I guess the risk is you're going to lose some people when you push the envelope that far, and I think I'm one of the people he lost.
posted by Shepherd at 4:11 PM on September 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

I just did a crossword in the last half hour. Sorry. Same last act slog as Annihilation. I think I just am not a fan of Garland's movies.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:16 PM on September 5

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