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Review: All Eyes

November 3, 2022

In all eyes, we follow Allen, a disgraced podcast host trying to make a comeback and dodge an ongoing lawsuit by accepting an offer to interview Don, a curmudgeonly widower who claims a monster lives in the forest next to his farm. .

Before we dive into the real meat of the movie, let’s get one thing out of the way first. Although billed as a monster movie, all eyes more like a comedy-drama only with, well, a monster. That’s not a bad thing, however. If anything, that’s actually its strongest aspect.

While we’ll see a bit of the creature and learn bits of the mystery surrounding it, by the time we get to this point, you’ll have fallen in love with the characters and their stories so much that you won’t even care. That’s not to say the creature’s design isn’t fantastic or its mystique isn’t captivating, but more that it’ll play second fiddle in your heart for Allen and Don’s travels.

One last quick note on the monster, but there’s a reason the movie is called all eyes. Besides the more narrative theme of how Allen’s entire fanbase watching him crumble affects his sanity, he’s also deeply tied to the bestial cryptid. Without giving too much away, you won’t be disappointed with what you see.

It’s one of those rare movies where the characters defy expectations to the point where you can feel a little guilty for judging them before you really got to know them. From first impressions, we expect Allen to be a narcissistic jerk who cares about nothing but getting more viewers. We expect Don to be little more than a mean old man. These assumptions, while understandable, would be wrong.

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What can easily come across as stereotypical archetypes instead look like real, flesh-and-blood people. They are human beings with flaws and pain trying their best to do their best. As individuals, they’re relatable and compelling, but it’s their relationship where they really shine. Seeing the two bond and grow together is heart-warming and can possibly make your eyes roll against your will.

It’s especially helpful that the performances of the two actors inject even more empathy into already human characters. On paper, Allen and Don are pretty solid, but it’s the performances that really bring the best parts of them to life. Nothing with either ever feels forced, but rather completely and utterly effortless.

Much of the film’s actual horror comes from its setting and atmosphere. Don’s farm is isolated in the middle of nowhere, and damn it, it looks like it. The plains, hills, and forest that surround his farm seem to go on almost forever, giving the impression that it is the only inhabited place in the world.

This sense of desolation not only adds to the tone but also to the characters. Each of them has, in their own way, forced themselves away from something they love, the vast empty environment acting as a reflection of their internal and external struggles.

The story takes twists and turns, I guarantee you won’t see it coming. It offers more than a few emotionally charged and poignant moments that will take your breath away. On the other hand, balancing these moving moments of raw emotion is downright hilarious. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in tears one moment and laughing the next. The tonal harmony he is able to exude is absolutely astounding.

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Interestingly enough, the film actually has a weird meta-nature, which is never likely to feel obnoxious or smug. Which in itself is an accomplishment, but compared to the number of other films that fail to toe that line with any semblance of grace, it becomes something to be commended.

That brings me to its absolutely insane and brilliant second half, which I won’t say anything about, because even hinting at it can risk spoiling things that I can promise you want to experience blindfolded. In fact, I’ve probably said too much already, so pretend you haven’t read this.

all eyes wears her heart on her sleeve, like a warm hug disguised as a monster movie, something I love her for. As in 2019 After midnight (which would make a perfect pairing), this little movie gem is a heartfelt, charming little creature that the horror world desperately needs more of.

As pretty much always, there have been plenty of really great genre movies released this year that have flown under the radar. As someone who has watched a lot of them, I can tell you right now that all eyes is easily one of the best and brightest. Treat yourself and don’t miss this one.

Zack HillZack Hill

I love horror movies almost as much as my cats. Part-time writer, full-time John Carpenter enthusiast

The post Review: All Eyes first appeared on Signal Horizon.