Why Him? never answers its central question satisfactorily, nor does it justify the unfunny attempts to solve the conundrum. Much like the titular “him,” the movie is crass, obnoxious, and a chore to tolerate. Neither has any measurable redeeming qualities.
A Monster Calls is a rare children’s fantasy that confronts complicated emotions head-on and doesn’t shy away from ugly sentiment. It might get heavy, but the somberness isn’t enough to make the summoning of a giant tree monster to cope with grief any more profound than standard patronizing fairytales. Though the methods of allegory are somewhat unique, the lessons learned are more edifying than inspiring.
Making his English language debut with The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Norwegian director André Øvredal delivers a precise examination and deconstruction of horror convention. Much like the father/son coroners performing the obligatory postmortem, Øvredal strips away layers and pieces to get to the truth. The film is creepy, grotesque, and has a fundamental understanding of what makes a horror story genuinely compelling.