- horror reviews - MOH 2022

American Carnage

IMDb Info

Release Year: 2022
Runtime: 1h 41m
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre Tags: Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Plot Summary: After a governor issues an executive order to arrest the children of undocumented immigrants, the newly detained youth are offered an opportunity to have their charges dropped by volunteering to provide care to the elderly.

Poster - Title Card rating: notes: The montage over the titles is the most terrifying part of this movie, since it's just, like, the news. The conceit is also infuriating: Evil Texas governor forcibly arrests all illegal immigrants, deports them, and then imprisons their American-born children for aiding and abetting. Despite all this, this movie ultimately doesn't have too much to say about the immigrant experience, racism and exploitation. It turns into a teen-aged horror comedy in the vein of Get Out and... it's pretty fun, actually. It's light and breezy horror for such a dark setup.

Outside Reviews:

Leigh Monson
Grade: B - In American Carnage, Hispanic characters try to get out of a Jordan Peele-like scenario

Given its massive success in early 2017, it's surprising that more filmmakers (or studios) haven't attempted to capitalize on the appeal of Jordan Peele's Get Out. As revelatory as that film is, it's basically a Twilight Zone-style social commentary, shockingly reframing our assumed reality. That doesn't make the execution of Get Out any less special, but it does provide a template for others. To that end, American Carnage, directed by Diego Hallivis and co-written with his brother Julio, is rather nakedly derivative of Get Out—if not in the racial specifics of its commentary, then the structure and pacing of its story. Thankfully, their imitation (or inspiration) pays off, delivering a story that's entertaining and unique even in a familiar context.

Joshua Rivera
The new wave of exploitation cinema is all about the immigrant experience

Taken on its own, American Carnage is fine, a direct-to-video comedy-thriller with OK jokes and a blunt genre allegory delivered by a cast of charming and talented young Latin American actors. The Hallivis Brothers have their sights so squarely set on one problem — the casual depravity of the United States' immigration policy — but that approach inadvertently elides others to make its point (like the elderly that it notes the U.S. similarly neglects, while never bothering to make them more than a prop in its satire).