Acclaimed director Scott Cooper and monster maestro Guillermo del Toro bring to life a multi-dimensional terror experience with Antlers. Searchlight Pictures’ latest horror-thriller is available on Digital now and Blu-ray™ and DVD January 4, 2022. We were able to request a review copy – so let’s talk about it! (full disclosure – I did enlist the help of my daughter-in-law, Ashley, as she is a big fan of this genre. The following opinions and thoughts are hers. No other compensation was received.)
What is Antlers?
The myth of the dreaded “wendigo” comes to shocking life in this terrifying horror thriller. When a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, seek to help a troubled young boy who possesses a strange secret, the consequences are more dreadful than they could have possibly imagined.
When you think of movies with Guillermo Del Toro’s name on it, it usually comes with an expectation that you’re going to be blown away by either the storyline of the movie or the fantastically created creature in it. This movie does not disappoint on either front with a story based around a small family that ends up involving multiple people in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. This isn’t Scott Cooper’s first time directing and the amount of care that he put into investing you in this story and characters is very evident from the beginning.
Are you wondering if Antlers is safe for younger kids? Or maybe you are cautious about scary movies in general(no judgement here!). There are a few trigger warnings you should be aware of. Be careful if you are not looking for spoilers in this section.
There are moments of gore and flashing lights, and Antlers does touch on some themes of SA, so keep that in mind before showing to the younger ones. This movie does jump scares the right way and when you finally get the monster reveal at the end, be prepared to be blown away. The only problem was that pacing could have been better. The lulls in the story lasted longer than needed and I did not find that very useful to the overall story building. Antlers is definitely worth a watch if you are a horror movie fan. The added bonus features give you an even deeper insight to the movie once you’re done.
Bonus Features included with the Digital version of Antlers include:
- The Evil Within – Co-writer/director Scott Cooper gives us a glimpse of the many complex layers at play in his approach to making Antlers, a horror film about very human concerns, and his most ambitious film to date.
- An Exploration of Modern Horror with Guillermo del Toro – Producer Guillermo del Toro traces the lineage of elevated horror in cinema. Employing his encyclopedic knowledge and passion for the horror genre, he discusses the connection between mythology and human behavior.
- Artifacts and Totems – The filmmakers discuss how they created this world of a small, tight-knit Northwest community of working-class Americans in bringing Scott Cooper’s vision to life.
- Gods Walk Among Us – An in-depth exploration of the digital and practical effects used to create the film’s primal creatures.
- Cry of the Wendigo – Discover the fascinating folklore behind the wendigo from the film’s First Nations consultants. Learn about the creature’s mythic origins and about its connection to man’s betrayal of the land.
- Metamorphosis – At the center of Antlers is a transformative performance by Scott Haze. Hear about the actor’s preparation for filming, including how he lost some 70 pounds in order to play a deeply tragic character.
- Comic-Con @ Home with Scott Cooper and Guillermo del Toro – Steve Weintraub moderates this candid Comic-Con@Home 2020 Panel interview with Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper. Hear the filmmakers describe their process, and learn who some of their filmmaking heroes are.
In the bonus features, we find out that Scott Cooper really wanted to try and pull from realistic issues in the world, such as addictions and poverty and things that real people are dealing with because the more realistic some thing is the more terrifying the supernatural ends up being. Through the featurette, you learned that they are very deliberate in their choice of setting, as well as the supernatural entity that they chose to highlight in this movie. They wanted there to be a sense of isolation, but they also wanted to show something realistic that people deal with, whether it is in a big city or a small city. You also get an in-depth look into how Guillermo Del Toro created the wendigo and his entire process behind it. The level of care they put into making this movie is very evident because they also had First Nation consultants ensure they portrayed the wendigo correctly, as the creature is something believed in by certain Native American tribes.
You also get a featurette about Comic-Con at home from 2020 that involves an interview with Scott Cooper (Director) and Guillermo Del Toro (Producer) to discuss the entirety of the film as well as their process from start to finish when it came to building this movie. They also talk more about the intricacies of the camera process and the specific traits they were looking for when casting for the characters.
Antlers is a great movie for horror fans. Definitely add this one to your collection now!