Since 2017 Colossal it came out, I’ve been trying to find people to share it with. I bumped into a wall. The people for whom the story may resonate are the ones who are most uncomfortable watching it. And the people who would make the most of internalizing their message about the destructive nature of toxic masculinity are the ones who are completely blown away by what it has to say. Few are in a place to really benefit.
Men he seems doomed to suffer such a fate.
The film, written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation), is a horror film that, in the words of its creator, is about “a sense of horror.” Rather than murder or gore, most memorable moments are too familiar worldly scares. Or at least familiar to some people.
The film begins when Harper (Jessie Buckley) arrives in a quaint rural town in hopes of recovering emotionally after the death of her ex-husband. But from the moment she arrives, she is restless. Everyone – the owner of the rented place, the local police, the vicar of a nearby church, strangers at random (all played by Rory Kinnear) – impose an awkward presence that, at best, makes Harper be impossible. simply to be comfortable and exist.
By now, you probably already know where this is going. Men, he seems to want to show the impact of micro-aggression on women by making them a little more macro, which only emphasizes the question of who exactly expects the film to be in the audience. For some, this story is totally unnecessary. Many women already know, too viscerally, the “horror feeling” Garland recreates on screen. (Like my partner Jaina Gray said so“I don’t need to pay $ 15 to be afraid of being harassed and killed by men, I can only go outside.”) Others, those who didn’t know where this facility was going, are probably the public who would benefit. most of their scares, and they are the least likely to buy a ticket.
The film feels designed to avoid the arguments of those who despise what it has to say. This is evident even in the trailer, as when an officer tells Harper that he is skeptical that the man who was chasing him was actually chasing him: “I don’t know if he saw you once.” These moments show how the skepticism, dismissal and guilt of the victims help create a horrible environment that many say does not exist. Harper’s fears are not invented, or all in his head; the horror is created by the collective refusal to take their concerns seriously. Men, then, intends to shout, “Voices? You can’t ignore the dangers here.” The film is right, of course, but it seems to call for a vacuum.
This is not to say that there are zero real supernatural horrors. Despite all its metaphors and allegories, there are truly grotesque scenes, but in Garland’s way they become more abstract and open to interpretation in the end. (If you were confused by the end of The annihilation, this movie will only do you a little more favors.) The story doesn’t give up catharsis either. The release exists, especially in the way Harper responds to the horrors: the final words of the film seem destined to become the kind of too real meme that is usually the domain of early BoJack Horseman episodes—But he is more resigned and exhausted than, say, Colossal. There is no triumphant victory over his tormentor. Just a shame.