6/10 A24 films releases tend to be consistently good and paired with the creepy trailer and solid critical reviews, I was very excited for this film. The first ¾ of the film delivered in setting up a creepy atmosphere, throwing you into the apocalyptic situation without spoon feeding you clunky exposition and showcasing some solid acting from both familiar faces and new ones. I loved that a lot of the movie takes place at night, only lit by flash lights attached to rifles and lanterns, which made things a little difficult to see but in doing so added to the fear of not knowing what is out there. The lighting, cinematography, atmosphere, tone, mood and location (the forest) all added up to be top notch and really refreshing. The situation is dire and grim and you can feel the hopelessness of people just wanting to live to see another day. The family dynamic was well established and you know what is important to each character. Their motivations were clear and they were well developed despite knowing so little about them. I give the film credit for having some balls as well but I can’t say why without giving any spoilers away. So as solid as a lot of the technical aspects, acting and atmosphere were, the last fourth of the movie is where it falls flat and really brings it down a few notches. Not only are there unanswered questions but the biggest sin is that the film just ends with no closure. It was like the film makers couldn’t think of a proper ending so instead of giving it one they just end the film and claim that it is just ambiguous. It felt lazy and there was no payoff whatsoever after we have just spent a good amount of time getting to know these characters and struggling with them. When the credits rolled I was not satisfied at all and felt bummed out that they couldn’t have ended it properly, after having built it up so well with a fantastic slow burn. I can be patient through a movie that moves a little slower if the ending payoff makes it worth it but alas, this film’s ending was indeed its downfall. I also didn’t find the film to be very scary and most of the attempted scares were all dream sequences, which felt cliché and a little lazy. The marketing was also misleading for the film, which isn’t the film’s fault, but A24 should have been better about that. A rental if you need something new to watch at best, but don’t spend your hard earned dollar in the theater or expect to be satisfied when the end credits roll.

#PushedToTheEdgerton / #ExtremeHomeTakeover / #TheGasMask / #ForestInPeace / #PaulNightLong / #HalfBlackMass

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