Antlers is a fantastic horror film with great performances that follows a few people in a small coastal town that cross paths with a horrifying creature that is killing people. People's checkered pasts come into play as they struggle to deal with the current frightening situation and confront their own demons. It's wonderfully atmospheric and feels like a Guillermo Del Toro film. The lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix is stellar and the 1080p HD image looks great. The extras are all worthwhile too. Highly Recommended!
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.
- 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.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
[Excerpt from Bryan's Theatrical Review]
"Antlers centers on Julia (Keri Russell), who is a grade-school teacher in Oregon. She recently moved in with her police officer brother Paul (Jesse Plemons) as she deals with her past of being abused by her father. One of her young students is named Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas), who has been drawing strange things in class, keeps quiet, and is picked on by his peers. His home life isn't great either as he lives in a house with no electricity or furniture and is feeding something behind a heavily locked door. As more and more people go missing but then eventually found disgustingly murdered and ripped open - Julia starts to notice Lucas is at the center of it all.
It's always a great thing when the likes of David S. Goyer (Blade, The Dark Knight) and Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) come aboard a film as producers. It means there is something special in between the slashes of blood and jump scares. Director Scott Cooper (Black Mass, Crazy Heart) and writer Nick Antosca (The Forest) have adapted Antosca's short story into a feature-length film and added some oddly defined allegory between its main protagonists and the monster - for better or worse. This element mostly works, but due to some ill-advised character actions and some obvious horror tropes, the movie heads off on a tangent, but only for a short while. This decision keeps the movie at a most serious tone and never begins to have fun in its own creature-feature genre. That being said, the movie works on its own that is something truly horrifying."
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Antlers transforms to Blu-ray courtesy of Fox Searchlight. That means this is a Disney movie. Perhaps the scariest Disney movie to date. The disc is housed inside a hard, blue plastic case. There is no cardboard sleeve. The artwork consists of a young boy surrounded by bloody antlers. There is an insert for a digital code.
Antlers arrives with a great 1080p HD video presentation with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 that is brooding and in love with its dark tone. This is not a funny or slapstick horror movie by any means. It takes itself seriously and is dark both in tone, its themes, and visually.
The color palette is dank and cold with grays, icy blues, greens, and browns dominating the picturesque landscape. There's not a lot of sunshine to be seen in this movie. A lot of earthy tones are rampant in this seaside town with very few glimpses of a warm, golden sun. Interior shots inside a cave or a dilapidated wooden house show all the necessary browns and rotted walls nicely. The only real portion of primary colors is inside a grade school where kid's illustrations outline the walls that seem to pop. Otherwise, the color palette is dark and drab in its style. Black levels are very deep and inky without any crush or bleeding, making way for some nice detail on the creature and sick people.
The blood is very red and looks icky right from the start. The detail is sharp and vivid too with great closeups that reveal individual hairs, extremely gory practical makeup effects, and textures in skin tones and on the creature itself. Wider shots look great too and never look soft or hindered by banding, aliasing, or noise. This is a good-looking horror film.
This release comes with a fantastic lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. It's a powerful track when it needs to be. The sound effects pack a punch when the creature is on screen or a jump scare is about to happen. In the final act of the film, the horror ramps up, and the violence comes through nicely. Midway through are some intense scenes of bodily transformation and the noises of bone-crunching, skin splitting, and blood gurgling is exquisite.
Besides these moments, the atmospheric noises are quiet and eerie, leaving some sequences only for the natural elements in the surroundings and voices. Surrounds get the creaks in wooden floors and doors perfectly and other howls and screams from people off-screen. The score is effective and always adds to the suspense and terror in each scene. The dialogue is clean, clear, and free of any audio problems. This is a good immersive horror track.
There are about 67 minutes of bonus material included here, with some AWESOME behind-the-scenes look at the makeup, practical effects, and a fun comic-con panel with Guillermo Del Toro.
- The Evil Within (HD, 6 Mins.) - A brief EPK that features the cast and crew discussing the tone, theme, and characters of the movie. Drug addiction and abuse are talked about as well.
- An Exploration Of Modern Horror With Guillermo Del Toro (HD, 3 Mins.) - An all-too-short conversation with the iconic filmmaker about horror movies in modern times.
- Artifacts And Totems (HD, 3 Mins.) - A cool, short piece on how the filmmakers got real-life townsfolk to fill in as extras and come aboard the project to make it seem more realistic.
- Gods Walk Among Us (HD, 6 Mins.) - An awesome look at the practical and digital effects that went in to create the creature for the film.
- Cry Of The Wendigo (HD, 3 Mins.) - The Wendigo and this specific creature's historical origins and history are discussed.
- Metamorphosis (HD, 3 Mins.) - A super-fun look at the big transformation scene and how the actor took the approach and rehearsed.
- Comic-Con with Scott Cooper and Guillermo Del Toro (HD, 41 Mins.) - A Comic-Con panel where the two talk about horror movies, filmmaking, and the movie itself.
- Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
Antlers is a surprisingly dark horror film with some good parallels to grief, loss, and abuse. It's often shockingly scary with some great performances and one fantastic-looking, terrifying new creature. The 1080p HD transfer looks great in its dark setting and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix sounds wonderful. The bonus features are definitely worth watching as well. Highly Recommended!
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