.’s review published on Letterboxd:
it is rly crazy that peele started out his directing career with one of the most cutting and concise social metaphors as horror written this century, only to keep left turning from there and embracing increasingly weird influences while simultaneously being the only big american horror director (asides from post 2021 james wan) embracing the weirdest edges of the genre with utter sincerity. for a guy whose name alone probably got this to 100 mil, i appreciate this is allowed to go to some genuinely haunting places, especially for a movie both this big, and one that implicates the audience this much.
the long sordid quiet history of an industry of exploitation is on target in nearly every scene one way or another, but the gordy stuff has been getting under my skin ever since watching it for some reason. (scarier than the digestion scene somehow!) i've long been terrified of media objects of comfort turning hostile (a fear that im gonna blame on badly written spongebob creepypastas that found their way into my youtube recs at like 12) (and a fear that comes to life v frequently on a more abstract level), and i'm glad that someone's fully embraced that. along with the fact that animal abuse makes me extra upset, peele found a little door with key under the rug that leads right under my fucking skin. viewer demand for more as Eldritch Horror is also rly nothing new to the genre (Twin Peaks: The Return and Scream 4 are both far more emotional regarding its fictional subjects as a result of them having the added bonus of being sequels [cause and symptom in one]) but the way peele tries to find a win here in the Haywoods trying to reclaim their piece of history made me tear up in a different way. historical context plus peele's other superpower, the ability to construct great characters and moderate performances equal an exponentially multiplying seratonin payoff with each viewing somehow.
the stretch from the gordy flashback to the sunglasses at night needle drop is rly one for the books, peele operating at the height of his skills as a guy who can conjure some fucked pictures and subtext to boot. i'm willing to roll with some of the messiness here moreso than i am with a lot of other movies of this ilk mostly because this feels like the first Real horror movie that's been allowed to move the goalposts in some time. horror is a genre that can produce some good stuff when its running in place but when someone smart is allowed to let their multicolored string of freak flags fly, you're gonna capture something magic.
also, it's just a cool as hell flying saucer story.
minus a star for jean jacket being an evangelion reference.