The year of A24: a retrospective

By Maia Venuti
staff writer

Earlier this year, I casually made a comment to my friends about how I think this year will be the most successful for A24, which is an independent film studio. As of September 2022, A24 have released eight movies so far, and by the end of this year, they will have released 15. They have always made great movies, but this year is different. This year, they released something for everyone to enjoy, from kids movies to campy slashers. I want to take a look at some of the eight movies that have been released so far to showcase what an incredibly successful year A24 had.

“After Yang” (2022)
Director: Kogonada
“After Yang” premiered on March 4 and is a sci-fi movie starring Colin Farrell. The story is about a girl whose beloved robot, Yang, breaks down, so her father looks for a way to fix it. On her journey, he grows closer to her family and reconnects with his wife and daughter. The film received a review score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 68%. I was surprised to see that A24 was releasing a movie more geared towards families and children, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did. Kids movies are so hard to get right because they don’t just have to be fun for kids. They should also be a good watch for parents who also have to watch the movie, and this movie is fun for everyone. “After Yang” is truly a great movie, and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a light, low-stakes movie.

X (2022)
Director: Ti West
“X” is a slasher horror film that premiered on March 18. Set in rural Texas around 1979, a group of young actors set out to make an adult film in an old farmhouse owned by lonely elderly hosts who rented out rooms. When said hosts catch the actors performing lewd acts, chaos ensues and it becomes a fight for their lives against their crazed hosts. It is the first film in a two-part series, with the second part “Pearl” (2022) being a prequel, showing the origin story of the antagonist in “X”. The film was incredibly well received, according to Rotten Tomatoes, “X” earning a 94% review score and a 75% audience score. I agree more with 94% of the critics’ score as I thought the movie was amazing. As a huge horror fan, I always get really excited whenever A24 releases a horror movie because I think horror is their forte, and they really pulled it off. Ti West took so many classic tropes and turned them on their head and made something incredibly unique.

“Everything everywhere, everything at once” (2022)
Directors: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is an adventure/sci-fi film that premiered on March 25. It follows a laundry owner who finds herself in need of saving the world with her newfound powers after an interdimensional rift occurs, sending her on a crazy journey that spans the multiverse. Without a doubt, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the most popular, highest grossing and best received film in the entire A24 filmography, with a review score of 95% and an audience score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. I think it’s one of the most unique movies that’s ever been released because there was absolutely nothing like it before, and there never will be anything like it again. This was a huge step out of A24’s comfort zone, and it was incredibly refreshing to see as a long-time A24 fan. The cinematography, visual effects, and editing were beyond perfect, and I think Marvel should probably take some notes because A24 beat them at their own game.

“Men” (2022)
Director: Alex Garland
“Men” is a horror movie starring Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear and was released on May 20. The film is about a young woman who, after a personal tragedy, moves to the English countryside. However, someone or something is watching her every move, turning what was once an imminent threat into a real nightmare. “Men” received a review score of 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and a shocking audience score of 39%. I loved how simplistic the antagonist was: just being a man. Based on my own experience, this made the movie that much scarier because the threat of this happening to a woman in real life is incredibly real. There is some controversy over “Men”, with many men saying they were offended by the title and theme. However, I have come to realize that the only men who are bothered by this movie are the ones who are being portrayed by the antagonist and don’t like to see their own behavior demonized. I liked this movie and I think it sent an important message despite the controversy.

“Marcel the shell with his shoes on” (2022)
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” is a children’s comedy film that premiered on June 24. The film is about Marcel, a one-inch snail, who is found by a documentary filmmaker who decides to film Marcel and eventually help little Marcel and his grandmother find his family. One of his best-received films, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” received a 99% review score and 92% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This movie was absolutely gorgeous. Marcel is so cute and is such a lovable and funny character that you are immediately hooked. Once again, A24 made a children’s film and has successfully turned it into a fun film not only for children but also for adults. I would see him again in a heartbeat; it’s just a nice, easy-to-digest plot, and nothing is too risky.

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” (2022)
Director: Halina Rejin
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is a slasher horror comedy film that premiered on August 5. It’s about a group of friends who decide to have a get together during a hurricane, but when they decide to play a game known as bodies bodies bodies, things take a dark turn. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film earned a review score of 85% and an audience rating of 69%. “Bodies Bodies Bodies” was exactly what a horror comedy should be. When he wanted to be funny, he was hysterical, and when he wanted to be scary, he was beyond terrifying. The writing of this film was the best representation of Generation Z in cinema thus far. I’ve never seen writing that was not only incredibly accurate but also didn’t feel condescending towards Generation; it just felt real. The way the story derails so quickly and the plot twists made it that much more fun to watch.

Overall, A24 has had a spectacular year. They made their highest-grossing film this year, received no less than a 50% critics rating for any film, and will have made 15 films by the end of December. As a fan of A24 for years, seeing their success this year has made me very happy, and I look forward to the future of A24 and how they will continue to raise the bar for years to come.

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