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The Book of Henry: What Just Happened?

November 29, 2017

The Book of Henry is a weird little thing that eschews boundaries and bounces all over the place. I’ve never witnessed a more earnest film that feels completely fake. I don’t think it deserves the universal hate that has been put upon it because it tries really hard to do something different (but not good).  At the end of the day I don’t see how anyone would’ve pursued this thing as a feature film and I think director Colin Trevorrow shot himself in the foot when he decided to direct this thing because it possibly cost him the Star Wars VIIII job.

Writer Gregg Hurwitz came up with the screenplay 19-years-ago and it’s clear it was his first script because it is loaded with contrivances and dialogue that is way too cute. This is the kind of script that was created by someone who didn’t know any better and I kinda love that. They never thought about who exactly the audience would be and who would watch a movie about a mom trying to kill their abusive next door neighbor via a sniper rifle.

The story revolves around a genius kid, a drunk mom and death. Basically (SPOILERS!!!!!!), a genius kid discovers that his next door neighbor is being abused by her stepfather. However, before he can do anything about it he dies of a massive brain tumor. Before he died he put together an intricate book on how to kill the abuser next door (because he knew he was dying). His mother gets a hold of the book and she actually goes along with the murder plot. I won’t spoil the ending but know that it ends in a very saccharine way that betrays what just happened.

The Book of Henry is really bad because the people who created it thought they were making something great. That is why I kinda love it. Movies like this are no accident because there has to be a certain amount of ego involved in their creation. Trevorrow was genuinely shocked when the negative reviews were unleashed and I don’t think he knew what he was making. Well, the world now knows what this movie is about and I hope it becomes a weird cult classic.

Watch The Book of Henry. Embrace the insanity and dislike how fake it is.



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