Four years after the sci-fi horror film “Annihilation,” writer-director Alex Garland has completely turned to the realm of science fiction for “Men”. Starring Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear in (multiple) lead roles, Garland’s folk thriller received a mixed to positive reactions from critics. However, the general audience doesn’t seem to care much about it.
The film follows the recently widowed Harper (Buckley), who rents a country house after the sudden death of her abusive husband. The peaceful solitude of the countryside is torn apart by strange and terrifying encounters with the men of the local village, all played by Kinnear through costume and digital effects. Garland’s narrative approach to gender violence theme was a mixed bag in the eyes of some critics, but it received praise for Buckley and Kinnear’s performances as well as its strange and unsettling visual direction.
Official production budget figures for “Men” are not available, but at just $11 million at the worldwide box office, it’s unlikely to have been a pure profit. The director’s most recent successful film was 2014’s “Ex Machina,” which grossed a much more respectable $35 million from its $15 million budget. Where the film fails to connect with the general audience. CinemaScore, a company that assigns movies a letter score based on a poll of movie theater audiences, returned a painful D+. On Rotten Tomatoes, audience score sitting at 39 percent, as opposed to the approval rating of 69 percent.
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