Antebellum Movie Review – Movie Recap

The film starts on what appears to be 
an 1800’s era antebellum plantation.  
Confederate troops led by a man named, Jasper, 
bring in a few runaway slaves. One of them, Amara,  
runs away again in terror after watching the 
other men strap a device to another slave, Eli.  
Jasper chases after Amara on horseback and brings 
her down by lassoing a noose around her neck.  
She begs to be killed instead 
of returned to the antebellum,  
and Jasper obliges her by 
shooting her in the head.
One of the captured women, Eden, is brought 
into the home of her owner, the Confederate  
general known only as “Him”. He beats Eden and 
orders her to say her name. When she cannot,  
Him grabs a branding iron 
and burns it into her back,  
causing her to scream in agony 
before weakly crying out her name.
Six weeks later,  
a new group of black people are brought in to 
the plantation. Jasper orders the group to not  
speak unless they are given permission. Jasper’s 
wife, Elizabeth, brings her daughter to pick one  
of the women in the group, whom the little girl 
named Julia. When Eden takes Julia with her,  
she asks Eden where they are and what is 
happening, but Eden tells her to keep quiet.

/> Eli goes to Eden’s house later to ask when they 
can escape again, but Eden appears to have given  
up hope. She walks carefully across the floor 
to see which boards do not make noises when  
stepped on. Julia then goes to her home, where 
she seems to already know who Eden really is.  
She wants to try and escape 
as well, as she is pregnant,  
but Eden shows her the branding scar to show that 
it is better not to anger the people in charge.  
Julia expresses disappointment in 
Eden, saying she is not a leader.
The slaves are forced to work during 
a gathering of Him and his troops,  
where he boasts about preserving 
their way of life for the future.  
Two young soldiers, Purcell and Daniel, observe 
Julia, and Daniel expresses attraction toward her.  
Purcell encourages him to speak to her, and 
Jasper comes in and orders Julia to wait in  
Daniel’s cabin. When Daniel goes to find 
her later, Julia tries to appeal to what  
she thinks is his innocent nature since he 
appeared to be kinder than the other men,  
but he proves to be just as terrible 
when he strikes Julia for speaking to him  
without permission. He kicks her 
in the stomach before leaving.
The next day on the plantation,  
Julia suffers a miscarriage. She cries out in 
pain and distress, and Eden goes to help her.  
Jasper attempts to antagonize them, but Eli 
keeps him back briefly by calling him a cracker.  
After letting Eden help Julia, 
Jasper confronts Eli over the matter,  
with the other soldiers getting 
ready to fire if they need to,  
but he instead sends Eli to 
clean out the shed. There,  
he finds the burnt remains of Amara, which 
he recognizes from her cross necklace.  
Eli breaks down.
That night, Eden tries to sleep. She starts 
to hear what sounds like a cell phone ringing.  
She then appears to wake up from what seemed 
like a bad dream. Here, she is an author and  
activist named Veronica Henley, married to Nick 
(Marque Richardson) with a daughter, Kennedi.  
Veronica is well noted for speaking out 
against the treatment of black Americans,  
causing her to butt heads with conservative 
pundits. As she is preparing for an upcoming trip,  
she sits to have a video conference with another 
woman – it’s Elizabeth. She uses condescendingly  
racist dialogue while discussing Veronica’s 
book and its themes. Elizabeth also describes  
herself as a “talent scout” while noticing 
Kennedi, which makes Veronica uncomfortable.
After going off on her trip,  
Veronica meets up with one of her best friends, 
Dawn, as she visits Veronica’s hotel room.  
She expresses to Dawn some of her frustrations 
and insecurities with her home life.  
After Dawn leaves, a mysterious man arrives 
to bring Veronica flowers but won’t say who  
they are from. Based on the note that’s 
left, she assumes they’re from Nick.
Veronica steps out of her room and 
runs into her other close friend Sarah,  
who is joining her and Dawn later that 
night for dinner and drinks. Meanwhile,  
Elizabeth sneaks into Veronica’s 
room, tries on her lipstick,  
and walks around the room to observe 
before turning the tag on her door  
so she won’t get turndown service. Veronica 
then attends a conference where she speaks  
before an audience of black women, all of 
whom are moved and inspired by her words.  
As she goes back up to her room, the girl 
that appeared to be Elizabeth’s daughter  
is in the elevator with her and creepily tells 
her she shouldn’t speak unless given permission,  
but Veronica thinks it’s just a game.
Veronica later joins Dawn and Sarah.  
On the ride to the restaurant, Veronica 
talks to Nick and thanks him for the flowers,  
but he says it must have been a fan. 
Dawn is abrasive toward the staff  
since she demands the best table and wine.  
During the night, an unseen man (implied to be 
Jasper) watches the women all night until he sends  
a vodka cranberry to Dawn. He then approaches her 
personally to compliment her, and while flattered,  
she takes the time to critique his attempt, 
since she thinks that drink pales in comparison  
to the wine they are celebrating with, but 
she gives the man her number just in case.  
The ladies then prepare to part ways, 
with Veronica heading into an Uber.  
Midway through the trip, Veronica gets 
a call from a woman who says she is her  
driver waiting outside the restaurant, but 
she thinks there’s a mistake. Veronica then  
looks at the driver to see that it’s Elizabeth. 
Jasper then appears from behind her to grab her.  
Veronica struggles to break free, 
but he ultimately knocks her out.
Veronica wakes up back on the plantation, 
where she is still hearing the phone ring.  
Outside, Him – actually Senator Blake Denton – 
answers the phone and speaks to someone over how  
Nick has been all over the news with Kennedi 
searching for Veronica, and he promises to  
take care of it. Veronica pretends to be asleep  
while Denton says he won’t let 
anyone take her away from him.
The next day, Veronica finds 
that Julia has hung herself.  
In her despair, she decides that tonight 
will be the night that they escape.  
She waits until Denton has fallen asleep, 
and she manages to sneak outside quietly.  
Eli finds her and helps her get 
the cell phone to call for help.  
They try to make it to the cabin to get a signal, 
but Purcell and Daniel are out after drinking,  
forcing the other two to hide and drop the phone.  
Daniel picks it up, and after Purcell leaves, 
he stops to urinate. Eli cracks him in the face  
and leaves Daniel to choke on his blood while they 
get the phone. They try to make it to the cabin,  
but Denton attacks the two of them. A fight ensues 
with Eli hitting Denton to keep him off Veronica,  
but Denton kills Eli with a hatchet. Veronica hits 
Denton with a tea kettle before getting his phone.  
Denton steps out, but Veronica 
stabs him in the gut with a bayonet.  
She unlocks his phone and manages to 
call Nick and let him know she is alive,  
and she sends him a location 
pin to give to the police.  
Veronica then goes to Eli’s body and addresses 
him by his real name, Professor Tarasai.
Veronica rolls Denton into a confederate 
flag and brings him to the shed.  
He weakly tells her that there 
will still be more like them,  
but she scoffs at him. As she goes to get a torch,  
Jasper finds her, but she tells him that Denton is 
hurt. Jasper and another guard run into the shed,  
where Veronica locks them in there and sets the 
logs on fire to burn all three of them to death.  
She then rides on horseback as the other 
soldiers give chase through the woods.  
After losing most of them, Elizabeth 
pursues Veronica on her horse.  
She taunts Veronica and states that Denton 
(who was really her father) personally picked  
Veronica because she went against his whole 
campaign and agenda, while Elizabeth picked  
everyone else herself. Veronica lassoes a noose 
around Elizabeth’s neck, but Elizabeth slashes at  
Veronica multiple times until Veronica gains 
the upper hand and beats Elizabeth’s face.  
Veronica then rides the horse 
while pulling Elizabeth until  
she slams her head against a 
statue, breaking her neck.
Veronica continues to ride as the sun rises, 
and the soldiers continue their re-enacting.  
She rides outside the gates of the plantation,  
where it’s revealed that Antebellum 
is a Civil War re-enactment park.  
Veronica rides out to find other people, just as 
the police arrive, and she appears relieved. The  
police and feds rescue the kidnapped people 
and bulldoze Antebellum to the ground.

%d bloggers like this: