The Men is a great movie and I have no idea who it’s for

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Since 2017 Colossal came out, I tried to find people to share it. I hit a wall. The people that this story can resonate with are the most uncomfortable watching it. And the people who will get the most out of absorbing his message about the destructive nature of toxic masculinity are completely overwhelmed by what he has to say. Few are able to really benefit from this.

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Men seems doomed to the same fate.

Film written and directed by Alex GarlandOut of the car, Annihilation), is a horror film that, according to its creator, is about a “feeling of horror”. Most memorable moments are not murders or brutality, but all-too-familiar mundane fears. Or at least familiar to some people.

The film opens with Harper (Jesse Buckley) arriving in a picturesque cottage town in hopes of emotionally recovering from the death of her ex-husband. But from the moment she arrived, she did not calm down. Everything—the landlord of the house she rents, the local police, the minister of a nearby church, random strangers (all played by Rory Kinnear)—create an awkward presence that, at the best of times, makes it impossible for Harper to just be comfortable and exist.

By now you probably know where this is going. Men, seems to want to show the impact of microaggression on women by making it a little more macro, which only underscores the question of who exactly the film expects to see in the audience. Some people don’t need this story. Many women already know, all too intuitively, the “feeling of terror” that Garland recreates on screen. (As my colleague Jaina Gray said“I don’t have to pay $15 to be afraid of being harassed and killed by men, I can just go out.”) most from their fears – and those who buy the ticket least often.

The film seems to have been made to prevent arguments from those who would be dismissive of what he has to say. This is visible even in trailer, such as when an officer tells Harper that he is skeptical that the man who was stalking her was actually stalking her: “I don’t know if he ever saw you.” These moments show how skepticism, rejection, and victim blaming help create a very terrifying environment that many think doesn’t exist. Harper’s fears are not made up and are not all in her head; the horror is created by the collective refusal to take her concerns seriously. Men, then intends to shout: “See? You can’t ignore the dangers here.” The film, of course, is correct, but it feels like it is screaming into the void.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t real supernatural horrors out there. For all his metaphors and allegories, there are some genuinely grotesque scenes, but in true Garland style, they become more abstract and open to interpretation towards the end. (If you are confused the ending Annihilation, this movie will only do you a little more good.) The plot is also cathartic. Redemption exists, especially in the way Harper responds to horror – the film’s last words seem destined to become the sort of all-too-real meme that’s usually common property. early BoJack Horseman episodes– but he is more humble and tormented than, say, Colossal. There is no triumphant victory over her tormentor. Just sorry.

This lack of triumph seems deliberate. There is no magic button that will make men understand what it means to live as a woman, which, by the way, is not to mention the complex gray areas of gender and identity that this review didn’t touch on, because the movie doesn’t either. Since these buttons do not exist, Men I can’t push them. The irony is that the story told in this film is, to a certain extent, connected to his own failure. May be he could attract an audience of exactly the men he seeks to pillory in an attempt to enlighten them, but that seems like a long way to go. If only it were that easy Men would not need to exist.


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