Written & Directed By: Sebastian Silva
Cinematography: Alexis Zabe
Editor: Jennifer Lame & Sofia Subercaseaux
Cast: Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott, Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Cera, Michael Zegen, Reg E. Cathey, Ann Dowd, Roddy Bottum, Nicolas Arze
Tyler, a sole black man, attends an otherwise all-white weekend of drunken bro debauchery on a birthday trip to a cabin in the Catskills.
A social horror film To a degree that is disguised as a comedy that ends up more as a drama under the disguise of humor.
This film has an opportunity to try to say something and making points. Though always seems on the verge before slowly gently walking away. As you watch it there are so many feelings, but the first scene truly Exposes so much as a Caucasian woman notes the race of the person the leads are visiting. Then Questions then in an orderly manner finding out info and then becomes overly nice to the title character. Where it comes off as condescending. As she overly notices his race and culture. This is slightly turned on it’s head later when we see who she is married to. Exposing how some so called liberal whites feel a comfortableness using other cultures so called language and stereotypes believing they do no damage but how insulting it is.
Here most of the film seems to be about male bonding and insulting and prancing one another. Though believing it ok to joke about race and stereotypes as an invitation to the group.
The main character is already considered an outsider as the new person to this group of friend. He only knows one person while the Person knows all the others. So he’s the new guy and is too outnumbered to get really upset and feel safe. So he begins to drink and that is where his despair comes out and makes him come off as unruly to the others. Numbing himself to be comfortable and to fit in. As the more they drink the more social manners are dropped and aggression comes out.
This is a film where you notice everything as every conversation and interaction is put under a microscope and assumptions are made. It’s Own kind of thriller where social situations are familiar for people of color in the audience that are never truly shown or discussed.
Director Sebastian Silva’s movies are always interesting and searching going on more as Social and emotional voyages that feel natural. So far my favorite film from him. As this feels like it has the most depths and is subversive.
Though while issues are raised the film Is smart enough to not have them resolved and not much truly happens for those seeking conflict or action. Though it manages to make you feel dread and uncomfortable throughout waiting for the next show to drop. As the film is full of micro aggressions. Which only gets worse the more people show up. Though it as malicious as you might think.
The film is kind of mismarketed as the trailers more make it look like a thriller in the vein of GET OUT. Which it could have worked as only more Dramatic and less genre. Though really the film settles for a kind of character study that involves race in it. Where by the end you wonder if he is having these problems being out of his element and being the only Black person in the room Or is it paranoia or could he just have some issues that the situation he is in is acerbating?
The film tries to show how uncomfortable it can feel to be the only one and out of your culture, outnumbered. It shows an experience that is rarely shown on screen for minorities. It usually is shown for caucasian how it can feel to be an outsider or the only one amongst minorities and seems to be universally understood.
The film offers an interesting contrast of how when homosexuals stands up for himself and his rights after the onslaught of homophobia comments and the group tries to explain themselves but stop but the racial comments keep coming and they being to make everything it seems about race and when the title character tries to stand up for himself they say he is being para kid or just joking and he shouldn’t be as sensitive. Though the homosexual character also seems to be the only one who seems to have sympathy for him And how Insulting they are being. Though he stays quiet as he separates himself and also has been insulted by Tyrel.
The film has an interesting take on toxic culture and how minorities have to accept sometimes to a certain degree from their friends who portray themselves as liberals and cool but don’t Realize how much their casual racism can hurt others. What’s good natured to induct someone new into the group and actual prejudice. Is what the film seems to be asking.
Michael Cera as the more outrageous comedic rich personality who begins making fun of himself is nice to see. He blends into the background while also making his presence and character felt and individual.
Jason Mitchell In the starring role excels playing his alienation and sadness in a naturalistic performance here and as he starts to drink to fit in and bond he gets louder and more violent towards himself and numbs himself. The tables are then turned as everyone gets concerned as now they see him As obnoxious and violent out of control. So everything starts to get intensified.
The film then tries to make it less racial and more an outsiders tale. As it makes race too obvious yet it colors everything. So the film becomes a more dramatic endurance test. Where the film tries to paint all the characters as human and not Kkk level racists and villains. As his debauchary is criticized, theirs is seen as natural and ok. Though it could be a wavelength as he gets drunk when they are sober and he is sober when they drink.
Though quite a strong direction in the end it is one of those films that is open to interpretation and never quite travels to the places or heights you might want it to and by the end kind of chooses to take a step back and shrug it’s Shoulders.
The film Never gets quite that serious and can’t Play victim but just bad as everyone he said to go is more people messing with him. So that he can never get his head straight. He can’t decide really which always makes this film feel like a thriller. A more social Roman Polanski type film.
This is a film where Most audiences will see different things and a good portion of them Will disagree on the many subtle points.
Which makes this film a psychological thriller at times because we like the main character don’t know what to believe at times. it could be a conspiracy or a loose set mixture of coincidence and micro aggressions that are race based and also male bonding of sorts. As it can be seen as a male reunion weekend of dude bros trying to out do one another and challenge one another that turns into a nightmare especially if not tapped in.