Antlers follows a Middle school teacher Julia (Keri Russell) in an isolated Oregon town where mystery surrounds one of her students Lucas (Jeremy T Thomas ) her brother Paul (Jesse Plemons) has been recently appointed Sheriff, and is tasked with getting to the bottom of the strange happenings, and must locate multiple missing residents.
I went into this film knowing absolutely nothing. I avoided trailers and plot details and I really think it enhanced the viewing and lent itself more to the ensuing mystery. The film starts extremely slow attempting to peel back the dark secrets buried in the rural atmosphere. The cinematography was beautiful as the wide shots brought a feeling of isolation.
The acting was exceptionally great especially young Jeremy T. Thomas who had to carry a lot of emotion and intensity. I am very conflicted because as slow as the first act was this film could have easily benefited by adding on to the run time, and expanding on the rich lore, as it, unfortunately, fell slightly short in that area. Where it does succeed it truly shines, the creature design exceeded my expectations and the gore did not feel gratuitous as it had a purpose.
The direction by Scott Cooper was flawless in the ways he manipulated the growing tension while highlighting the horrific undertones of the events on screen. You have no choice but to care about the characters and their emotional battles as well as physical.
Antlers was a beautifully frightening experience that left me wanting more. I recommend seeing this in theaters as there is something nostalgic about it that I can’t quite pinpoint. I will be purchasing this film and adding it to my extensive horror collection.