Men review – Alex Garland unleashes multiple Rory Kinnears in wacky folk-horror Garland’s latest is like a scary-movie remake of Dick Emery, with excellent performances from Kinnear, in a number of different roles, and Jessie Buckley

The grim accusation about men – the one about them being all alike – might occur to you during this film, along perhaps with the shrill defensive hashtag #notallmen. It is an unsubtle and schematic but very well-acted Brit folk-horror pastiche from the writer-director Alex Garland; it feels like a reverse-engineered version of The League of Gentlemen, with the overt comic intention concealed or denied. For me, the film never quite addresses the obvious dramatic implications of its startling central conceit: the wacky multirole casting of Rory Kinnear. But there’s undoubtedly something unnerving and outrageous in Kinnear’s performances, with the wigs and false teeth, like a scary-movie remake of The Dick Emery Show.

The setting is a picture-perfect Hertfordshire village with a sumptuously restored Elizabethan manor house, which is being let as an Airbnb. Harper (played by the reliably excellent Jessie Buckley) is an unhappy young woman getting over a tragic event in her life in the time-honoured fashion of movies ranging from Don’t Look Now to Midsommar. Her trauma is related to her partner (Paapa Essiedu) who was disturbed, abusive and passive-aggressive. Now she has come to this place for rest and healing. Continue reading…

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