Alex Garland has slowly built a reputation for cerebral horror and science fiction over his career. He wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine, but really turned heads with his 2014 directorial debut Ex Machina. Since then he’s delivered the fascinating Annihilation and TV show Devs. However, his latest, horror film Men, may face a rough ride at theaters.
Despite scoring being certified Fresh on the Tomatometer at 78%, Men has received a rock bottom D+ CinemaScore rating. A CinemaScore bills itself as a true reflection of what regular audiences think of a movie, polling opening day audiences as they leave the theater. Industry wisdom is that opening night audiences will be far more likely to be positive about a movie, so anything below a C is a failing grade.
This means Men‘s D+ isn’t great news for distributors A24, but it isn’t necessarily the kiss of death. In 2018, A24 released Ari Aster’s Hereditary, which also got a D+ CinemaScore but went on to make eight times its budget and became A24’s highest-grossing movie.
It appears that much of the criticism is based on the last 20 minutes, at which point the story goes absolutely off the rails into crazy-town. If you’re anything like us, you probably want to see Men even more now just to find out exactly how bonkers this movie gets. So, in a roundabout way, this apparently extremely divisive twist may help the movie out in the long run.
Men is now in domestic theaters and will open internationally on June 1.