Antlers Review – A Ghoulish Treat for Horror Fans

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Antlers, from Searchlight Pictures, presents a mythological story, which pairs Native American folklore and tribal superstitions with the macabre, as a beast suddenly is awakened and finds a host to nest until his appointed time of release.

 

The film begins in a small town along the Oregon coast that has been hit hard by the recession and the residual meth epidemic leaving it depressed and barely resembling the life that was once evident through the rusted towers of the coal industry.


 

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A lone truck is sitting outside an abandoned mine, a little boy, Aiden Weaver, played by Sawyer Jones, wandering in the piles of rusted parts. He stops when the sound of something unnatural filters through the air. Then, his dad, Frank, played by Scott Haze, appears somewhat frantic.

Unsure why, he returns to the mine, and as he travels the railroad tracks deeper on the railroad tracks, the sounds begin to increase. Finally, he reaches his meth lab where his partner is cleaning up and the two begin to make their way back.

Suddenly, the groans and animalistic sounds increase, and the pair led by curiosity are drawn closer into the pit and darkness when they encounter something, that attacks. Then we see Aiden, drawn by the sounds of screeching, walk into the abandoned warehouse.

The film cuts to a classroom, where Julia Meadows, played by Keri Russell, is teaching on the myths and fairy tales, and tries to engage each of the students into responding. She calls on Lucas, played by Jeremy T. Thomas, who from first glance one can see his family is struggling.


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He is coloring, drawing a picture sketch book, with shocking images when class is dismissed. Walking along the riverbank he comes across a skunk. Soon he is walking home carrying the dead animal. When we arrive at his home, we understand whatever was alive at the abandoned mine infected Frank and Aiden. And they locked themselves in the attic.

The next day, Lucas is back in the woods trying to trap another animal when he hears noise in the background. He sees the former Sheriff Warren Stokes, played by Graham Greene, looking at the remains of a half-eaten human.

This is when we meet Sherriff Paul Meadows, played by Jesse Plemons and his partner, Daniel LeCroy, played by Rory Cochrane. The pair begin the investigation and find the cause of death is undetermined, and the bites are human.

Antlers intensifies as the mythological being that somehow unleashed from the abandoned mine pit found a host in Frank Weaver and grows slowly over taking his body, then evolving into an animalistic predator, morphing, and growing using the body as a cocoon.


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After Julie searches through Lucas' desk and finds his drawings, she takes them to Principal Ellen Booth, played by Amy Madigan, who decides to drive out to see frank Weaver and speak with him about the welfare of his son.

She enters the house and slowly makes her way to the locked attic, where she can hear Aiden crying behind the locked attic door. Her instincts compel her to open the door and compels her further, up the stairs, to where she finally sees Aiden, deep sunk eyes, black veins showing. She reaches for him.

And before she could move, Frank Weaver pounces on her devouring her flesh. Her flesh and blood feeds the animal inside him. Suddenly, the animal is alive, strong, and from Frank he begins to expel himself. It escapes which sets up the race against time ending as the beast hunts for his next victim. 


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Antlers pairs the macabre with science fiction, think Aliens, and modernizes with folklore, Native American superstitions and presents a contemporary twist that works.

The ensemble cast pulls the viewer into this story, in the same manner the characters are compelled, and effectively delivers solid performances.

Antlers infuses enough of a ghoulish treat for those looking for a fright night at the movies to not disappoint. Antlers opens October 29, 2021. See it.

 

Country: USA.

Language: English.

Release Date: October 29, 2021.

Director: Scott Cooper.

Writer: C. Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca, Scott Cooper.

Producer: Guillermo del Toro, David S. Goyer, J. Miles Dale.

Cast: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Sawyer Jones, Graham Green, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, Amy Madigan.

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