MEN review: Alex Garlands effective chiller has a painfully unsubtle feminist subtext

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The seemingly idyllic mansion lies in a West Country village populated by horribly sexist males. And all of them, even a foul-mouthed schoolboy, have the face of Rory Kinnear. Jessie Buckley’s Harper was hoping for a quiet place to recover after the death of her abusive husband. After she’s insulted, stalked and assaulted by a variety of Rorys, no one would blame her for making an exit and leaving a one-star review.

In Alex Garland’s creepy but to notice all the look like Rory very silly horror, the first Rory she meets is the house’s owner – a posh rural type in a Barbour jacket whose jokes are as off-colour as his teeth.

The next one is a lot scarier.

She’s enjoying a country walk when a naked Rory chases her back to the house and tries to force his way through the front door.

Policeman Rory saves the day but isn’t remotely sympathetic. Reverend Rory is even worse, touching her thigh before blaming her for the death of her husband.

Before the film reaches its perplexing final act, Garland has crafted an effective chiller, albeit one with a painfully unsubtle feminist subtext.

But why so many Rorys? As Harper doesn’t appear to notice that all the locals look like the same British character actor, it can’t all be in her head.

As the tension flagged and the wigs and fake teeth piled up, my mind wandered back to Rory’s dad Roy and his stint on The Dick Emery Show.

If it weren’t for all the gore and sexual politics, this would work as an amusing tribute to the “you are awful” funnyman.

MEN, Cert 15, In cinemas now

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