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Review Antebellum (2020): I liked the concept, but was a bit disappointed

genre: mystery, horror, thriller, drama

Naturally when a trailer feels and seems like a film similar to Get Out you are going to be psyched. I tried real hard to avoid thinking about this film as I wanted to let the film overwhelm me it's concept. And for a while it did succeed me wondering what was going on. 

Antebellum does a real good job of bringing you the terror and fright of a historic fact we can't escape from. However like the trailer promises it takes this fact to a next level. Now I myself did like the concept as a concept but not the way it was executed and shown to us. It's going to be hard to explain this without spoiling it but I will try. Up until the reveal the film throws hints at you making you think and ponder of the possibilities. This easily is the most fun part of the film and therefore an element that works. Then the reveal itself comes and you can't help but feel how exactly this concept is possible. If you let go of the technical and practical aspects of this reveal then everything could and should be considered horrific. Especially since there are people and groups who want to realize this concept for real. Still, it is asked of you to suspend disbelief and you aren't actually shown why for example the main characters and other characters do their best to escape or revolt. In order for this concept to work they could and should have established the rules. I don't see any reason why they omitted this. Antebellum would have been a far stronger film if they had.

Then again Janelle MonĂ¡e as our main character, Veronica does manage to make you overlook certain flaws. She brings an intensity to her character that makes you root for her. Especially if she gets berated by Kiersey Clemons' character. It's a strong scene. The film is also very nice to look at which is a very powerful contrast with what is depicted on the screen. So yes, most elements do seem to be good. And yet I was disappointed that the film didn't give me the impact that was promised. Most of that has to do with the plausibility and reality of it all. Even when technically it could happen I don't actually think it's possible to maintain. This detracts a lot of the viewing experience in the third part.

Overall, Antebellum does offer food for thought even if the concept could and should have been executed a little better. It's not a waste of your time however you will feel disappointed a little especially if you were hoping for Get Out goodness.

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