Review: Antebellum (Garrett’s View)

There’s no denying that Jordan Peele is the current torch-bearer for the horror genre. To no one’s surprise, writers and directors are now trying to imitate his style. Enter Antebellum. From the initial teaser and subsequent trailer, the nods to — if not outright copying of — Peele’s vibe is on full display. Unfortunately for all involved, especially Kansas City’s own Janelle Monáe, Antebellum feels like a cheap knock-off rather than a rich homage to Get Out and Us.

There is a disappointing lack of depth all around. The only character the audience can remotely invest in is Monáe’s, but even she is undercut somewhat by the director’s insistence on trying to swerve viewers. The movie is unable to capitalize on a solid first act and instead loses all momentum in an overdrawn and dull second act. By the time the third act rolls around, it is painfully clear that Antebellum has nothing more to offer than following a generic horror blueprint. And while oftentimes, simpler is better, Antebellum‘s simplicity feels uninspired and mundane which makes one wonder whether this would have been better off as a TV episode or short film.