I’m not against genre movies being “elevated,” but if you’re going to elevate your genre movie, you need to have a good reason. Otherwise, just make an honest genre movie, and make it well, like Ted Geoghegan does in his latest movie, Mohawk, and in his previous movie, We Are Still Here, which I adore.
You can keep The Revenant and Hostiles. They’re awful. Mohawk, on the other hand, is vicious, merciless stuff, and a great example of scrappy DIY filmmaking. I’m a fan. If you don’t believe me, just check out my review for Paste Magazine, but c’mon, you totally believe me.