Credits: Bloody Disgusting

Originally published on Letterboxd on 13/08/22

One of the few recent blockbusters that engages with the zeitgeist in a way that never feels didactic (which automatically makes this Peele's best film).

As opposed to the intrusive and overbearing dialogue that often undermined the potential potency of his images in Us and Get Out, here Peele seems content to allow the images to speak for themselves- not just in the striking, Baudrillardian compositions but also in the weight of its sound design, which imbues every gust of wind and crack of sand granules with palpable terror. The visual and auditory conduits via which danger is communicated to both the audience and the character are established early on, and so the successive improvisations using elements of the landscape lend an organic quality to the geography of its action.

Its transition from a sort of conspiracy thriller (with the sky acting as an agent of surveillance) to a grislier rendition of Tremors is unwieldy, but its messiness in fusing disparate obsessions with lost media, the human costs of achieving tactility and behavioural mimesis is precisely what draws me to this rather than Peele's other all-too-slickly-engineered works (though the fact that this opens with a chimp massacre and features multiple Evangelion callbacks perhaps makes me somewhat of a mark for it).