Antlers was a movie that I was looking forward to before it was postponed to 2021. When it was finally released last year there were so many movies that I wanted to see and sadly I didn’t get to see most of them in theaters. I was finally able to see it after it received a physical release. I think that Antlers is a well-made movie, but it left me wanting more. Back in 2020 when I first saw the trailer I immediately had my interest piqued by both Guillermo del Toro being attached as well as it being based on the Wendigo myth.
Antlers was based on the short story The Quiet Boy by Nick Antosca. He was also one of the writers on the movie along with C. Henry Chaisson and Scott Cooper. Cooper also directed Antlers. I was more aware of Antosca’s work on TV where he has made some classic horror TV. I had never seen any of Scott Cooper’s work before this. He does a great job with the more dramatic scenes. I felt like he didn’t have as good of a handle on the horror.
Antlers stars Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, and Amy Madigan. For the most part you focus on Russell, Plemons, and Thomas. All three of them handle a lot of the heavier stuff in the script. Haze gets to do some crazy stuff as his character goes through changes. The leads do really well with heavy stuff in the script with the two older leads being played in a realistic way. Jeremy T. Thomas plays a character that has to deal with some incredibly heavy especially as a kid.
Antlers takes place in a small town in Oregon. You follow siblings Julia and Paul Meadows. Julia is a teacher that moved back to her hometown after her father died. Paul is the sheriff and has lived in the town his whole life. Things are tense between them because Julia left Paul with their abusive father as soon as she was able. A child in Julia’s class named Lucas is bullied and she quickly learns about his home life. All three of them have to deal with the trauma inherent in their town as well as whatever has come up from the mines.
The new take on the design of the Wendigo is interesting. It goes along with the popular design of the Wendigo that has been the go to for the last few years. It might have started with the TV series Hannibal which Antosca had worked on. The design is dynamic and an original take on the design. The score was done by Javier Navarrete. The music while good in the movie there isn’t anything that stood out to me.
Antlers is a good movie but is basically a monster movie that is light on the monster. It falls into the same pit that a lot of horror movies fall into nowadays. It wants to focus on trauma without giving the audience the fun stuff to balance everything out. This is a good movie even with me feeling like it needs more monsters. I give Antlers 7.5 sock monkeys out of 10.