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|Contributor||Amy Schumer, Louise Lovegrove, Steven Yeun, Richard Jenkins, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen Karam|
|Runtime||2 hours and 4 minutes|
Erik Blake has gathered three generations of his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the group’s deepest fears are laid bare.
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Package Dimensions : 6.73 x 5.39 x 0.55 inches; 2.72 Ounces
- Audio Description: : English
- Director : Stephen Karam
- Media Format : Subtitled
- Run time : 2 hours and 4 minutes
- Release date : April 19, 2022
- Actors : Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun, Amy Schumer, Richard Jenkins
- Subtitles: : Spanish
- Producers : Louise Lovegrove, Stephen Karam
- Studio : Lionsgate Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B09RGWBNCY
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #81,889 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #5,587 in Drama Blu-ray Discs
- Customer Reviews:
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Early in the film I recall the family members calling to one another across the suite "I cant hear you, what did you say?", this foreshadows a good deal of the family's interpersonal conflict. What I initially expected to be a psychological horror entrenched in the spooky ghosty-goos in the dark recesses of the apartment quickly became a horror of the psychological trauma of the family itself. The ulcerative colitis of Aimee, her recent break-up, the loss of her job... these things framed the interpersonal stories as though the kids were struggling but mum and dad's big troubles now were dealing with Momo. To boot, Momo's email and occasional moments of lucidity had veins to run throughout the story. But the big overarching interpersonal conflict came from the group as a whole, sans Rich - he just wanted to be liked.
Momo has lost her mind. Her demented tantrums, foreshadowed, arc in the climax. Richard, Brigid and Aimee's attempts at career progression - each stagnated in one fashion or another, pile onto the family dynamic. The truly interesting part arises in Erik and Deirdre's relationship, especially Erik's role therein.
In the modern context, where we live disparately and gather infrequently, it is unsurprising Erik chose this time of all times to explain his affair. They play it off like he's intoxicated so of course he'd bring it up now but I dont think thats the case. He brings it up because he has no other avenue of communicating with the family. He is airing dirty laundry begrudgingly. Unfortunately, the means by which he does so not only glosses over it as if the consequences of that action arent felt now, but he frames it in such matter-of-fact terms it dissuades reaction and challenge. The shadows that haunt the family in this dilapidated apartment extend now, well beyond that of Rich and Brigid's new abode to the presumed security of the retiree couple and grandma.
At the climax I find it telling how they lit the home. As each piece of the family shed off, Dierdre upset and "eating her feelings"; Aimee ashamed of her family's conduct, Brigid pissed at the neighbour as a scapegoat for her own issues with her mum and dad, Richard trying desperately not to be caught in the crossfire - Erik, finds himself alone. There's light spilling down the corridor but his back is turned to it. At the table the lantern so dimly illuminates his immediate surroundings. It's as if sending a lantern in the care package to the young couple the Dierdre and Erik were trying to illuminate their own path forward. For Dierdre there's solace in god, but as is common with the generation for Erik there's no need to let others see the pain. He even seeks work in an adjacent village so as to not be "seen by the students" at his previous career of 28 years. There are slight economic commentaries throughout the movie too in that regard but I digress.
I think in conclusion this was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I think Parasite was probably the last film I saw like this that really grabbed me, and even then I cant think of one where the interpersonal relationship angle formed the crux of the horror. I really like psychological horrors but this was so much more than what I anticipated. I expected some demon or whatever living in the walls to play on their individual issues - maybe that's what happened. But I would tend to believe their interpersonal issues arose well before they entered that home. This was no demon in the walls, it was in themselves, and it spread across the thanksgiving table like the mold and water rot the camera pans to along the ceiling. This was one of the best movies I've ever seen.
I kept waiting for the actual play to start ,,, and waiting and waiting. Instead lots of artsy long-shot geometric photography of irrelevancies to the script, whose occasional scraps of dialogue are swallowed in empty-room echoes at a distance or outside the frame apparently defying us to listen and comprehend them, to connect the words to characters uttering them, and thus purposely daring us to engage with the story.
I miss the original theatrical cast and the connectedness they supplied to the expertly developed plotting and character nuances. All of which is lost with these daughters who lack any hint of belonging to this would-be family. By the time the far-away actors finally gathered around a distant dinner table, I didn't want to struggle through the wall echoes to hear them, much less take the trouble to know about them.
Yes, plays are about words and movies are about visuals, but devoting this production to an adamant obliteration of the words, the plot, characters and, therefore, the drama is an ego-trip devastation by a wannabe Antonioni: an NYU film school travesty perpetrated (incredibly!) by the actual THE HUMAN playwright who long ago devised such a brilliant theatrical drama. Magicians use misdirection; this direction more than misses--it messes into less than a meh.