Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
Velvet Buzzsaw is a film that feels deep, like it has a real weight to it and has something it is desperately is trying to say which seems to be the case with Dan Gilroy movies. Obviously with the masterpiece Nightcrawler but even with Roman J. Israel, Esq., Gilroy clearly has ideas he wants to share in what he thinks will be interesting ways, something he nailed with Nightcrawler. Unfortunately though with his two latter films, it seems like he struggles to get anything across.
This is a movie with a great aesthetic and wittiness. It builds this fascinating world with really fun characters that you like to be around. All brought together by some wonderful performances that are quirky but also well put together in a way that only actors like Jake Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette, and Daveed Diggs could. It's with the depth and plot of this film where it loses me, it balances being a bizarre horror film with dark fantasy elements and being a deep social commentary. At first glance, it seems like my issue would be with the balancing of these elements but that's not actually it, it's more of the quality of each individual side.
I found the concepts behind the horror elements to actually be kind of interesting at first, but then as we advanced in the story we did nothing with them. We get no payoff or exploration past what we figure out at the beginning. Where it does have some creative deaths it never does anything to go to the next level and ended up feeling wasted. The social commentary also felt really weak, as I mentioned before I am sure that there was supposed to be something here deep down. But it is so niche and relevant to such a small group of people (art critics) that it left no impression on me. It also had the same issue as the horror as it fails to push beyond our initial thesis. I kept waiting for this movie to go beyond where it started and really pick up but it just never does.