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Antlers (15)

Cast: Jeremy T Thomas, Graham Greene, Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons
Genre: Horror
Author(s): Scott Cooper, Nick Antosca, Henry Chaisson
Director: Scott Cooper
Release Date: 29/10/2021
Running Time: 99mins
Country: US
Year: 2021

Twenty years after she fled her isolated Oregon hometown and her abusive father, Julia Meadows returns to the family nest to rebuild bridges with her younger brother Paul. While Paul replaces Warren Stokes as town sheriff, Julia shapes young minds as a middle school teacher. She becomes deeply concerned about the wellbeing of 12-year-old pupil Lucas Weaver. A disturbing drawing by the malnourished child forces Julia to take action.


LondonNet Film Review
Antlers (15)

Myths and monsters rooted in storytelling traditions have consistently fuelled the flames of creativity in horror films. Lucrative franchises have been spun from a videotape which supposedly kills the viewer seven days after watching the contents, and a hook-handed bogeyman summoned by calling his name five time into a mirror. The legend of the Wendigo, a deer-like creature and evil spirit immortalised in the oral traditions of Native American Algonquian tribes, has manifested several times on the big screen, most recently in the 2019 remake of Pet Sematary…

This cannibalistic monstrosity feasts on the lost, frail and depraved in Antlers, a supernatural horror based on the short story The Quiet Boy by Nick Antosca, which boasts Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (The Shape Of Water) as one of the producers. Director Scott Cooper confidently unsettles with a subterranean opening sequence then steadily cranks up tension as unspeakable horrors behind a locked attic door threaten a rural American community decimated by the decline of mountain-top mining and opioid misuse. A haunting lead performance from teenager Jeremy T Thomas tethers the film’s more fantastical elements to cold, rain-lashed reality, which cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister exploits to chilling effect, including a couple of decent jump scares in the dark.

Twenty years after she fled her isolated Oregon hometown and her abusive father, Julia Meadows (Keri Russell) returns to the family nest to rebuild bridges with her younger brother Paul (Jesse Plemons). The old man is now dead but the siblings’ psychological wounds are painfully evident. Phantoms manifest as waking nightmares and Julia barely resists the urge to seek oblivion in a liquor bottle from the local store.

While Paul replaces Warren Stokes (Graham Greene) as town sheriff and serves the community assisted by officer Dan Lecroy (Rory Cochrane), Julia shapes young minds as a middle school teacher. She becomes deeply concerned about the wellbeing of 12-year-old pupil Lucas Weaver (Thomas), whose meth dealer father (Scott Haze) is supposedly home-schooling Lucas’s younger brother (Sawyer Jones). A disturbing drawing by the malnourished child forces Julia to take action. “This is a cry for help. Take it from someone who can diagnose abuse,” she warns the school principal (Amy Madigan).

Antlers is a satisfying slow build interspersed with flashbacks to Julia’s traumatic childhood, which constitute a horror story on their own. Del Toro’s regular concept designer Guy Davis and creature effects supervisor Shane Mahan recall the hulking faun from Pan’s Labyrinth with their Wendigo, which they conceal for as long as possible. In another echo of del Toro’s work, heart-rending interplay between the Weaver boys evokes similar emotions to the ghostly bonds of The Devil’s Backbone. Composer Javier Navarrete demonstrates restraint with his score, allowing the palpable pain on screen to jangle nerves rather than staccato bursts from a string section.

– Kim Hu


London Cinemas Showing Antlers


From: Friday 3rd December
To: Thursday 9th December

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 10th December
To: Thursday 16th December

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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Antlers


From: Friday 3rd December
To: Thursday 9th December

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 10th December
To: Thursday 16th December

No cinema infomation at the moment