“The Best* Horror Film Of 2019 Is Secretly About Toxic Masculinity”

I don’t make secret my feelings about the phrase “toxic masculinity”; I think it’s kinda useless, or at least it’s used in very useless ways that do nothing to facilitate discussions of and solutions for aberrant masculine behavior. So naturally I embraced Daniel Isn’t Real, a horror movie about “toxic masculinity” and its shortcomings, with open arms. Finally! Art that feels the same as I do about the language we use to talk about men behaving badly!

Also: Finally! Art with a very clear and determined message that does not overdetermine that message!

Also also: Man, between Patrick Schwarzenegger and Miles Robbins, this thing is a smorgasbord of “young scions of screen acting royalty.” And they’re both real good in it, too. Something about watching Schwarzenegger and Robbins here, instead of watching them parlay their names into dull mainstream studio projects, makes my heart swell with pride.

Anyway, you can read my full write-up over at The Week.


*Full disclosure: I didn’t write this headline, and…I dunno, this might be the best horror movie of 2019? It’s in competition with In Fabric, a movie I’ve written about online and in print, and on any given day, I might feel more strongly about one than the other. So, yeah, jut putting that out there. Look at it this way: Daniel Isn’t Real is one of the very best horror movies of the year, and still would be even in a release year where horror isn’t overarchingly just “fine.”

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