Big-name horror filmmakers rising as influences on the genre during this period of sunshine for my favorite genre has been both a Good Thing and a Bad Thing. I think the more visibility and influence a name receives, the more the name has power to move films into production that otherwise might not; on that same token, the name tends to override the actual quality of the films (and TV shows) they’re attached to produce. In the case of Ari Aster, it’s sort of assumed that an Ari Aster film is going to be some sort of towering masterwork of horror, an honor accorded largely by critics who’re performing horror expertise*.
In the case of Jordan Peele, my feelings are much more complicated. I think Get Out and Us are both indisputably great movies that signal a filmmaker with a lot to say and the vision with which to say it. On the other hand, The Twilight Zone** is, uh, not really all that good, mostly a mixed bag of ideas and good craftsmanship held back by unrefined storytelling and an absurd amount of ideas.
You can read my full review over at The Playlist.
*Swallowing up platforms and assignments better left to actual horror journalists in the process.
**Note: I’ve seen only episodes from this season. Take that as you will.
But what about “Small Town”? You don’t mention it in your review.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to that one before the deadline (as we were way behind on the show’s release anyhow). Could be that there are a few outliers here, but what I’ve seen struck me as a mixed bag.
It was very much a mixed bag. Among the Untrodden was by far the best, with Downtime and The Who Of You being strong contenders and then the others ranging from good to meh to awful.