Antebellum feels like a cheap knock-off rather than a rich homage to Get Out and Us.
Antebellum is the next victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. With Lionsgate opting for a digital rather than their planned full theatrical release, Antebellum is going to try to take advantage of the new platform and lack of any solid new competition. On a budget of less than $15 million, it seems likes a sound strategy.
The main issue the audience should have with Antebellum comes before they ever sit down to watch. The trailers create a false perception of the type of movie they are about to see. Using clips and editing tricks that are not in the actual movie, they paint a very different “horror” expectation. It does still fit in the horror/suspense genre, however, not in the same way the marketing suggests.
Antebellum doesn’t waste any time throwing you right into the terror. The graphic and disturbing depiction of life on a southern plantation for a slave almost makes you welcome the lull in the middle of the movie. Janelle Monáe stars, who in the last few years has created quite the filmography for herself. She doesn’t disappoint by delivering another dynamic performance.
Before you click play on the latest Bruce Willis straight-to-Amazon-Prime-vehicle thinking “I know the last 8 were terrible, but maybe this one will be like Die Hard,” go ahead check out Antebellum instead. It leans more on concept than substance, but is still an entertaining watch. Just do yourself a favor and avoid all trailers.