Antebellum (2020) Poster

(2020)

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7/10
No Doubt This Is A Divisive Film And You Can Easily See That In The Reviews
Foutainoflife19 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Ok. So there are a lot of people taking issue with this due to the current politial environment in the US, some are taking issue with it because they feel it is a "The Village" remake and some are taking issue with it because they see it more as a thriller than horror. I guess you will decide how you like it based on your position concerning these issues.

In terms of our political environment, things are not good. I am a Southerner. I've heard the arguments for both the destruction of heritage and the continued insult of the treatment of African Americans. It is a sensitive topic for which, I have no ideas on how to appease everyone. So, in choosing to watch this, I decided to lay personal opinions to the side so that I could watch what was being presented without prejudice.

As for this being a "The Village" remake. Yeah, I'm not on board with this at all. In "The Village," the circumstances of the village founders are far different. They raise children who are unaware of the world beyond the boundaries of the village of their birth. They are naive and brainwashed. This film is different and not really comparable in my opinion.

As to whether it is horror or not, well if this happened to me, I would be horrified. Kidnappings, torture, murder and the dehumanization of others is monstrous. To imply that these are merely "suspensful" or "thrilling" topics alone shows a removal from the realization that, while watching it in a film, it is meant to portray something happening in real time to real people and will steal from the horror of it. Although it lacks the blood, guts and gore of hardcore horror, this is a psychological horror film if you are open minded enough to experience it. It is chilling.

I review films as I see them and while I'm sure that with such a divisive film I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this, it will have no bearing on my opinion. I say if you are interested in seeing this, don't let the negative reviews deter you. Watch it and come to your own conclusion. It is a well made film and I thought the acting was good. Subject matter is sensitive, political and divisive but overall I thought the story was rather unique.

Check it out and make up your own mind as to whether you like it.
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4/10
Trailers Were Misleading
view_and_review28 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to sue for false advertisement. The trailers for this movie truly misled me. I was under the impression this was going to be a horror movie with supernatural occurrences. In the trailer the scenes jumped from present day to antebellum era, then there was a scene of a plane suddenly appearing in the sky above a slave plantation as if they were in a parallel universe where slavery lasted past the industrial age. There was a flash scene of a woman bending over backwards like she was an evil spirit. The whole of it painted a very eerie picture with otherworldly undertones.

The movie wasn't nearly as mystical or creepy. Basically, a group of butt-hurt southerners created a fake plantation in the middle of nowhere where they'd kidnapped Black people and forced them to live as slaves. This premise has so many flaws, but we'll overlook those for now.

The movie begins on this plantation with no indication that it's anything other than an antebellum plantation in the South. After awhile you get the sense that something is not quite right. The manner in which the "slaves" are speaking is very anachronistic. Their diction is too good and even some of their vocabulary doesn't belong. One "slave" even uses the term "cracker," which completely didn't belong. That same Black man stared down the overseer when he spoke to him, which would never happen during slavery times unless the slave had a death wish.

I simply thought that the writer of the script was clueless about slavery which just upset me. I didn't recognize those anachronisms as intentional clues because they were subtle and they weren't highlighted like important clues normally are. When the main character, Veronica (Janelle Monae), woke up in a modern-day bed and home it only further confused me. It wasn't shown as a flashback, it was shown as though Veronica just woke up from a bad dream in which she was a slave.

The movie continued on with some exposition where we got to know what Veronica was all about. The exposition carried on too long to the point I thought we were completely done with the slavery scenes and we were just going to watch Veronica be with her friends. The present day scenes were so boring and irrelevant I was ready to quit the movie. Precious movie time was being eaten up and I had yet to see anything remotely scary or even eerie.

The movie wraps up with Veronica back on the plantation making her getaway. That's when we find out the "big reveal," the plantation is a modern day replica in the backwoods of Louisiana. Veronica had to fight her way to freedom which included burning two men alive. It was supposed to be a liberating scene, but all I could think of was, "Don't waste your time burning them, just get out of there."

On her way out of the nightmare she was in she passed by a statue of Robert E. Lee. The statue standing there so regal and reverential at the edge of the fake plantation was clear in its meaning. It was to illustrate that monuments of confederates are only memorializing the atrocities of the South. I understood the point of this movie, but boy did they take a long yawn inducing route to it.
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5/10
Why Didn't The Writer and Production
jasminepixie19 September 2020
Why didn't the writer and production team spend more time developing this story? This movie had the potential to be very interesting .One that would of been a must see, but it falls short. At first I was intrigued as well as excited,but as the movie shifted to the last part I started to get a sense of where it was heading. It just was not as clever as I had thought it would be. It is missing so much of the story and creative elements that you are left wanting. The ending twist is revealed so quickly, it makes the twist stupid. If it would of been presented in a different way it may have changed my impressions. I will say it is visually appealing but that doesn't make up for the substance it lacks. I will tell you truly the last thoughts and feeling I had when the ending credits started was "What it is over, where is the rest?" Followed by a feeling of thorough disappointment. So in short the movie starts of interesting and ends with you feeling disenchanted and let down.
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9/10
Haters gonna hate
carlamperez-0904110 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Idk why everyone is hating on this so hard? I'd never seen the trailer, just randomly saw it on Hulu and decided to give it a watch. Didn't know what to expect and had never watched the trailer... but it kept me puzzled and kept me guessing all throughout which are all the things I can appreciate in a film. I'd categorize it as more of a psychological thriller than say "horror" but once that twist hit and I realized this was happening NOW?! that blew my mind and I definitely became horrified- with the idea of being in those shoes. Like WHAT?! scurry. Anyway, yall are all haters and this was a decent movie. Goodbye~
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2/10
Im black so i guess im "SUPPOSED TO" like this movie but i can't! I CANT lol
dninc-6514029 September 2020
Movie was borderline boring, predictable, i enjoyed the Trailers but so i should give credit to the people who marketed this movie more than the Producers and writers.. they did they thing pushing this garbage.. If you have ABSOLUTELY nothing else to watch on TV this might be something to have on playing in the background while your doing something else..

Janelle did the best she could with her role in this movie, that's the only take away.
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10/10
Thoroughly Enjoyed The Movie
Mehki_Girl26 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Performances were great. The cinematography as well. The beginning sequence grabs your attention and makes you want to watch the movie.

There are little Easter Eggs throughout the movie and you want to watch a second time. In the meantime, you are a little off balance as to what's happening.

Ignore the negative reviews. This movie is not boring. On the sending watch it goes at a quick pace.

I loved Siddibe's performance. The restaurant scene had me lol!

For people who think this can't happen. People are kidnapped everyday and held as sex slaves for decades. I remind you of the little girl who was kidnapped and lived in the backyard of her kidnapper for decades in plain sight. It's a movie, movies require some degree of suspension of disbelief. The same whiners about reality probably watch zombie movies and movies based on comics.

BTW for people who didn't get it, there's a reason they look to the heroine for escape. Think about it. The girl said, I know you.
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4/10
Music video clip directors turn their first cinema film into a messy unoriginal film.
movieman6-413-9295105 September 2020
Antebellum is a new horror thriller directed, written and produced in part by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renze. This is only their first real cinema film that they have directed together. For this they have made more short films, especially music video clips.

The film is about the successful writer Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe). She is confronted with her success by the world. She must fight the dark past and escape it before it's too late.

The fact that this is the first cinema film that Gerard Bush and Christopher Renze have made is reflected in the film. The film seems to start with a clear beginning, but the plot twists that emerge later in the film only get messier and unclear. The story of the movie is somewhat like an adapted, copied version of the story of the movie Get Out. The few minor horror aspects of the movie seem to have been copied from the movie The Shining. The movie poster of this movie is even copied from the movie poster of The Silence of the Lambs.

Despite the fact that the film does not have an original story, they try to incorporate a good message that responds to the current events of Black Lives Matter. This message would have come across better with a clearer script. For a better film that responds to the same current events, you better look back at Get Out. Instead of a scary horror film, the film also comes across as a fierce thriller with a history about the racism of slavery and how racism is still a problem in the world today.

Due to the messy script, most of the cast do not deliver any special acting and they have all acted better in other films thanks to clearer scripts of these other films.
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7/10
DON'T WATCH THE TRAILERS
FeastMode21 July 2021
Warning: Spoilers
It never ceases to baffle me how often trailers spoil a movie. For antebellum, i went in blind, and it took me on a ride i won't forget. I watched the trailer after. It spoiled the entire movie. I can't believe it. And on top of that, it was completely misleading. I'm so glad i don't watch trailers any more. It would have robbed me of a great experience.

This movie is well-directed with great cinematography and some beautiful shots. It hooked me immediately and never let go. I was invested in the story and the characters. It had me at the edge of my seat numerous times. I had a great time overall (1 viewing, 7/18/2021)

SPOILERS

i didn't know what the movie was about when i turned it on. I only saw the poster and that horror was listed as a genre. I legitimately thought it was a straight up horror flick like something with ghosts or demons.

It started out in the civil war era. I had no reason to believe it would ever move from that era. I was definitely into it, but at one point i started thinking, "i like movies that are different or unique, and this premise doesn't seem like it can go anywhere out of the ordinary"

right then, we switch to present day... WHAAAAAAAAA. Interesting. We follow the same actress playing a different character. So now i assume it's like different versions of the same person at different points in time. Color me intrigued.

Only problem is, where can it really go from here. Can the stories conclude in a satisfying way? Or are we going to get random unrelated parallel stories a la cloud atlas, a movie i HATED.

Right then we switch back to "olden times," but we still hear the cell phone ring, and the general answers it.......

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW. The past is the present and the present is the past. The ENTIRE context of everything we watched has been changed. It went from "it's so sad that black ppl had to suffer through slavery" to "omg, they're kidnapping present day black ppl and turning them into slaves."

and most importantly, there is a fully satisfying conclusion that ties in both stories. Bravo. I love that this is basically a super hardcore civil war reenactment. Also, why are civil war reenactments allowed? Even if you ignore the racism aspect of it (which you can't), you're still celebrating the deaths of hundreds of thousands of americans by their own hands. Smh.
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6/10
Trailer misleads!!
roankluijtmans5 September 2020
When I saw the trailer of this movie, I thought it was going to be a weird horror movie that is fun to watch. But when I watched the movie, it was so much different. There isn't any horror in it. Its not a bad movie but it's not what I expected. They're were literally people walking out of the cinema because they expected something different.

Its a fine movie to watch. But not cinema worthy. There's no horror in it. Its not a scary movie just violent in the way slavery.
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9/10
Brilliant and Cleverly Made
ameshamcelveen18 September 2020
This is certainly a must see movie! I wouldn't necessarily classify it as horror, but more so as a thriller. I'm not sure why Rotten Tomatoes and many other movie review platforms gave this movie such a low rating, because it definitely wasn't deserved. I assume some folks aren't too keen of seeing portrayals of slavery or being reminded of how African Americans were treated back in the 1800s. To each his own, however, the "slavery" portrayal in this movie shouldn't take away from the overall brilliance and creativity of this film.This is a very well made movie with a captivating twist of an ending. Watch and see for yourselves!
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8/10
Surprising, thrilling and twisted
rjmhulst11 September 2020
Antebellum may not be a horror movie like the trailer suggests, however: it is all about the horrors its main characters go through. Antebellum is an interesting ride throughout, with much contrast, a strong ambience and great acting.
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4/10
Woof, that was hard work...
roganoffeski4 October 2020
It's been a long while since I've looked at my phone halfway through a movie to see how much longer it has left, but that's how disappointing this was.

Like many, I got sucked in by the "by the producers of Get Out & Us" - this is nowhere near the same quality. There is no humor, no suspense, and the acting is poor. I can't think of a single performer that impressed me - even Monae let me down this time.

The first 1/2 hour was strong but then it completely degenerated. The twist was interesting and probably the only thing of note that I took away from the viewing. And as important as the 'message' of the film was, it couldn't have been any more hamfisted in its delivery. Such a waste.
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2/10
The only thing good is the idea, but the realization is terrible
neldot-582-74155317 January 2021
The only thing good in this movie is the plot idea, but they fail to extract something not even mediocre from it. I am amazed that someone found it a decent movie. To each his own, I guess. Characters are poor and stereotyped, motivations of the "bad guys" are poor and stereotyped, there is only one major plot twist, and it's totally wasted as of action timing. The ending is dull and predictable. Also, there is a lot of unnecessary propaganda of a certain ideology (summed up in "white men are evil") that wastes 1/3 of the movie without really adding something to the narrative. I really see this movie as a big waste of a good idea.
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1/10
The trailer is much more enjoyable than the actual film.
thomasclinn26 September 2020
Please please don't waste your time. You'll thank me later.
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7/10
Movie really make you think
cortneywiggins4226 September 2020
I really enjoyed this movie, Forget the negative reviews, watch it yourself....
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8/10
I dont get the low scores
mr_bickle_the_pickle18 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I honestly dont understand why this has such a low rating except maybe for the fact that some white people upset that white people being portrayed as the villains. Or is it because its another slave movie? I've also seen some people complain that its not really a horror like its advertised, and ok...it does feel ,more like a thriller than a true horror but that doesnt make it less captivating. I was really invested in Eden/Veronica and the mystery of how she's seemingly in the 1800s deep south. The twist isnt super complicated, I was able to make a guess that turned out right. But again, this didnt detract from my enjoyment of the film. I thought it had a very interesting storyline. I wont say the film the is perfect. Jena Malone (especially during the last act) does a bit of scenery chewing as the villain. I also thought the end in general with Eden/Veronica riding on horseback in slow-mo felt a little hokey. It was maybe a little confusing why Eden/Veronica was made out to be the "saviour". I get she is the main character but it didnt make sense why out of everyone Julia specifically went to her for help. And I didnt see much chemistry between Eden?Veronica and her friend Dawn. But really other than that, I wasn't disappointed with the film and found it fascinating.

Janelle Monae is incredible in the film. It probably won't happen but she would be completely deserving of an Oscar nom. Also, I absolutely loved the score. Especially in that intro scene, it really sucks you into this story and feels perfectly unsettling. I loved all the visual nods and references to other parts in the film.

The film is definitely intense. And while yes, it is another slave movie to a degree, I felt like this at least tried to do something different with that genre.

But overall, I liked it, and feel like is a worth a watch.
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8/10
A True Modern Day Horror film
bknylife25 February 2021
If you enjoyed Get Out and Us. No doubt you would enjoy this film. This film is about the true Horrors of Racism, because their is nothing more frightening than living your life as a Slave. Keep in mind, that many of the hate from this film comes from Trump supporters, and those that love to dismiss or deny racism still exist in Society today.
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4/10
Forgettable
mradarley-4766122 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I waited a long time for this to be released as I love horror. This wasn't horror. I understand the point the movie is making and credit to them for trying to tell it in a different way but there is no twist here. Fifteen minutes in I guessed the scenario she was in and at the end of the film you're just left thinking 'that's ridiculous it could never happen' which then downplays the whole narrative a bit. 'The Village' by Shyamalan is way better and more believable in actual fact. I think once more people have seen this film I can see it landing a rating of 3.5 and an entrant onto the worst movies of 2020 list, which is a shame because there are some ok performances but the plot is dissatisfying and ludicrous really. Such a shame.
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5/10
To long for so less of a story
okpako-adenowo13 September 2020
If this movie would take 30 minutes It would be the same
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8/10
Watch this!
steven-carron10 September 2020
This is my first review on IMDB. I saw the movie yesterday and found it very good. The negative comments are in no justice to this film. Sure it's not a horrormovie and the adds around this film are misleading.

Antebellum is an original movie, has a great performance of the lead actress, an unpredictable script and an important message. Don't expect to see a gripping horrorflick, but a gripping good film
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8/10
Civil War enactments
arch507 February 2021
This movie was great, I worked with a number of guys who use to participate in those civil war enactments, and watching this movie was a little scary.

They would actually come to work describing these enactments and I just could never understand why they would do them. Sometimes they would get quiet when I approach the conference room, I guess fear of hurting my feelings.
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8/10
The Past is Never Dead...
Xstal18 September 2020
As polarising a film as you'll see all year, that Janelle Monáe felt strongly enough to take the lead and that the film needed to be made in the first instance, says so much about the inequalities, prejudice and hatred that continues to exist in societies: but you knew that because you see it in the news and on social media every day and quite probably have become immune to its impact - which is why it continues to perpetuate through generations and is as tough to eradicate as the common cold.

An extremely imaginative and original way to emphasise a message and make a point. If you take delight in critiquing and criticising the more technical shortcomings of the film I'm afraid you've completely missed that point, perhaps you're a little too immune - rewind and try again.
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3/10
Stupid Movie
rtbradford20 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I thought this was supposed to be based on Octavia Butler's novel Kindred and that's how it was marketed, but that's not what it was. It was basically the most implausible mass kidnapping movie ever made. And even as that, it failed. First, it was internally inconsistent. The main character is branded in "the past" and then wakes up in her own bed in "the present" and the brand's gone. Makes sense if it was a dream or she actually was time traveling, but makes no sense if she was just kidnapped. And if she was kidnapped, why would she think it was a dream? Why wouldn't she remember being serially raped? And why on earth would so many modern day people just accept being enslaved when they were being held only a few miles from civilization? The whole premise doesn't work. I like Janelle Monae, but this movie is just plain awful.
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9/10
Original, unique and extremely tense - a must-see
jtindahouse18 September 2020
It feels like I have been waiting for 'Antebellum' to come out for an eternity. Ever since I first heard about it I have been aching to see it. It just looked like such a well put together film and such a mysterious and interesting plot. Finally tonight I got to see it and I can confirm all of those things were true and much more as well. This film was gripping from start to finish.

I absolutely love the structure this film was told with. It threw me and had me a little baffled for a while there, but in the end it all made sense and was easy to go back and see things from a different light where the film had deceived me (in a good way). Twists in films are becoming rarer and rarer, but I still love a good one when it comes around and this was a banger.

The film is broken up into three very distinct thirds, and I loved every one of them in its own way. Each of them them has a lot to offer, and the film wouldn't be what it was without each of them adding their piece. The final one though will blow you away. This is such a unique film. It's really hard to think of anything that would be a decent comparison for it. Originality in this day and age is such a rare and under-appreciated thing.

Finally, this movie was tense. The final twenty minutes in particular. I cared so much about the characters and their fate that I was on the edge of my seat throughout. I would suggest the less you know about this film going in, the more you are going to enjoy it. This is a wonderful film and an absolute must-see.
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4/10
I'm black and I didn't liked this movie neither
deshan-7858027 August 2021
Not a very good movie due to hammy over-the-top performances, a confusing overcomplicated plot, bad direction and screenplay, wonky pacing, and just poor all-around execution. The few redeeming qualities include solid cinematography, decent production designs, good score, and a few cool ideas.

Also I'm kinda tired of movies exploiting black trauma just for sake of it without any real substance & execution. Skip it.
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