Having now had the chance to watch Antebellum, the debut feature from the writing/directing team of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, more than once it becomes glaringly obvious where the faults lie with the film. The plot, which tries to be both horror and drama but inevitably ends up being not much of either, is so full of holes that it just about defies belief. I won’t give much away for fear of spoiling the viewing experience, and in fairness on first viewing and with a limited knowledge of the storyline, there is a half decent film in there.

Beginning with a terrific tracking shot that seems to last forever we’re taken to the Deep South during the American Civil War and a cotton plantation run by a Confederate soldier who is only known only as Captain Jasper (Jack Huston). Helping him run the plantation is his equally sadistic wife Elizabeth (Jena Malone). The slave who appears to take the most of Captain Jasper’s wrath is Eden (Janelle Monae), a head strong slave who, each evening, is forced to sleep with a despicable Confederate leader known only as “Him” (Eric Lange).

Then like a bolt from the blue we are transported to the present day with Eden waking up in a modern apartment, now called Veronica she is a successful author and is married with a young daughter. You might wonder what’s happening as faces from her slave past keep cropping up in the present time and things do look promising but look under the surface and Antebellum has a plot that’s as thin as paper and one that really doesn’t stand up to any close scrutiny. Go in blind you might find something to enjoy but if you know anything about the inevitable twist at the end you’ll spend most of the running time scratching your head in amazement, and not in a good way.


Antebellum (15)

UK Release: SKY Cinema 2nd April 2021

Antebellum: Trailer 1

Antebellum: Teaser Trailer