Right off the bat, I want to start with the positives. Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear are absolutely stunning in Men. They are excelling in the midst of a lie. Yet again, A24 has crafted a horror trailer for a drama that dips a toe in horror towards the end, but relies on shocking visuals in the place of a decent story. I understand that this may be perfectly fine to some people. I have friends who adore this kind of moviemaking. But it's not for me. It never has been. I don't like when the trailer baits a potential audience by withholding the film's true intentions. I keep falling for this because I want the film I was led to believe I was going to get. Instead, it's a nearly incoherent grief metaphor that I regret spending money on.
Harper (Buckley) has rented a cottage in the English countryside following the suicide of her soon-to-be-ex-husband. She's harboring a certain degree of guilt, but she does not hold herself responsible. She encounters the odd but well-meaning Geoffrey (Kinnear), the caretaker. But then every man she encounters in the village also looks like Geoffrey. This is never really addressed, despite being the main hook of the film. Harper is soon stalked by one of the men, a naked, dirty one who may or may not be a Pagan god of sorts. Who knows? In the end, we get an ungodly birthing scene that attempts to make up for the lack of horror thus far, and while it is quite jarring, it's more confusing than scary.
Men is another A24 "elevated horror" flick that, to me, is Alex Garland's strike two after Annihilation. It's a shame because Ex Machina was so damn good. I don't know why his films are getting weirder and weirder while sacrificing a good plot. I need more than that.