Of Antebellum Movie Review

Antebellum is a Lionsgate movie from the producer of Get Out and Us, written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz; starring Janelle Monáe.

antebellum movie review

The movie was initially set for big-screen theatrical release but because COVID, it debuted on home streaming release on September 18th 2020.

I first became aware of this movie after someone in my book club mentioned that our August read Kindred by Octavia Butler had been made into the movie Antebellum.. You can click image below to read my review of Kindred.

Kindred Review

After a bit of internet research, it emerged that Antebellum was not a movie adaptation of Octavia Butler’s according to Gerard Bush “Octavia is is brilliant. But Kindred had nothing to do with the movie.”

From the trailers that are that are out there, we understand what that’s coming from,” Christpher Renz said. “But once people see the movie, they’ll know that it’s it’s not Kindred.”

In an interview the producers say that idea for Antebellum came from a horrific dream and that nightmare was Antebellum.. what it did have in common with Kindred was that it felt ancestral.

Having watched it I have to agree it aint no Kindred ^_^


Antebellum revisits the horrors and injustice of slavery in a world where past and present become tangled up….

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

It would be difficult to say more on the plot without ruining a plot twist mystery key to the entire movie…

The good

Antebellum kicks off with some stunning cinematography, a slow motion tracking shot of a woman running through a plantation, her green dress matching the landscape, confederate soldier chasing after her on horseback and the tears streaming down her face glistening in the sunlight…

…Drawing you in for a visceral reaction to what follows next.

Antebellum is a horror/thriller which will have you at the edge of your seat, punctuated by a haunting soundtrack as you try to figure out what is going on.  

Janelle Monáe delivers some captivating performances switching between dual roles

Janelle Monáe  as Veronica/Eden Antebellum
Eden/Veronica Antebellum

The bad

After the plot twist is revealed, the movie loses some of the depth and mystery that has been building from the start…

Antebellum tries to make a profound and relevant socially conscious statement about the racial unrest of our current times as an extension of hundreds of years of systematic oppression, while this may resonate, I felt it fell a little short of the mark…

…maybe its because I kept comparing it to Kindred

The ugly

It aint Kindred.

Both the novel and the film follow a Black female author as their protagonist, and both projects focus on race, slavery and the Civil War era; my mind sort of overlayed Kindred into Antebellum.

Final thoughts

Going past my disappointment at that its not Kindred, its still a good movie, not a great movie and its got some interesting points to make.

Have you seen it or would you watch it? Trailer below




  1. Hey Beaton, I really do not like horror films (if that is what Antebellum is) but from your review, I just may see this one.

    Comparisons with the KINDRED book could definitely make some avid readers lose interest but I guess, from a neutral perspective, it would be amazing.

    Wait, lemme quickly see what Rotten Tomatoes says. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi
      Well, it’s not a horror in the sense of conventional horror movies… Funny enough, those who watch it thinking they got a horror movie are likely to be disappointed

      I could not help compare with Kindred because come to think of it without Kindred I might never have actively sort to watch it…

      So does Rotten Tomatoes make you want to watch or not watch… Maybe you should watch for the curiosity and we see how your rating compares to the rotten 🍅 and also we can discuss this movie since I held back writing about some things because it would have been in the realm of spoilers


      1. On the upside you know that when a movie is scored highly it’s not likely to disappoint…. 🤣🤣


      1. I’m looking for it now, so I reach my reading goal for this year (even though I surpassed it months ago 😅)


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