Jon Ospa’s review published on Letterboxd:
I can see why people would be impressed by this. I, too, was once ignorant of the entire history of cinema pre-2001. But to me, a movie where the subtext is spelled out for you every step of the way is kinda like one of those cumshot videos where the spunk is elmer’s glue, and you can tell it’s fraudulent even though it’s definitely white and viscous JUST LIKE ACTUAL CUM but not really. In more precise genre terms, a psychological horror film lacking in self-awareness is like one of those solo masturbation videos where you can’t see the guys face OR his dingle so you just end up watching a forearm move up and down a torso for way too long.
It could have been either more or less subtle in either direction and it would have been PERFECT. But the non-committal, authorial genericism and facile aesthetic preoccupations just make it come off as something with a lot of wasted potential.
Ari Aster probably has a great film in him, as soon as he stops loving the sound of his own cinematic voice and decides to actually commit to a carefully-crafted dramatic arc instead of rubbing oh-so-obvious THEMES in your face and believing so strongly in the cleverness of his own shock imagery that it becomes trite. I get it, really, I just think it’s obvious, dull and insincere. Gaslighting, trauma, trafficking, moral relativism, bad breakups, wow this guy sure has scrolled through twitter in his day.
Ari Aster is Robert Eggers for basic bitches. The only reason I even rated this above 1 Star was because I was delighted by the sight of Jack Raynor’s floppy flaccid penis.