Alex Garland’s new horror movie Men has been dividing critics, with many praising its bold narrative and its ambitious approach to filmmaking, while others have criticised its provocative messages about women. Jessie Buckley, the star of the movie, has made her stance very clear, and has labelled these criticisms as “silly” and “boring”.
Men is a story which centres around a woman, Harper (played by Jessie Buckley), who finds herself surrounded by unusual and unsettling men in the heart of the countryside, at a time when she feels most vulnerable. It’s a twisted and violent horror movie which is bound to divide opinions, but we’re not sure the criticisms surrounding its attitudes towards women are valid or fair.
The movie’s message is certainly well-intentioned, but some have found fault in the fact that Garland is a male filmmaker, and his sentiment is a hollow effort to support women. In a recent interview with The Digital Fix, Buckley was asked what she made of the negative angle some critics had taken to Garland’s latest work.
“I think it’s a bit silly to be honest. I think it’s a conversation, it shouldn’t be something that’s divisive,” Buckley said. “I have amazing men in my life, I made this with amazing men, and we had a very open and honest conversation which wasn’t projecting an idea onto something, but offering questions,” she explained.
“When those opportunities come along, you’ve got to take them,” Buckley added. “I can’t make a choice on something that I feel challenged by, because they’re a man or a woman, I want to work with people who are curious, whatever they are.”
“[The criticism] exacerbates the problem. Then there’s no moving together, it’s just you and me. It seems kinda boring,” Buckley concluded.
We think Jessie is absolutely spot on, for what it’s worth. And, to be fair to Garland, his previous work on the sci-fi movies Ex Machina and Annihilation featured strong female characters, too, and there was no outcry about those.
Men is in theatres June 1.