Director Nate Parker’s biographical film about Nat Turner plays out like the scariest of horror shows, and it very well should.
The film scarily portrays Turner’s slave rebellion in the south, one that resulted in many African Americans being slaughtered in retaliation. It’s bloody, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s the two-by-four to the face type of film the subject warrants.
Parker plays Turner, a slave raised as a preacher and exploited for money by his plantation owner (Armie Hammer in a most scary performance), and his performance is a powerful one. As for his directing, he portrays white plantation and slave owners and preachers as hissing, hateful, almost cartoonish demons, and I say amen to that.
Some of the history might not be 100 percent accurate, but the portrayal of the hatred and disgusting state of affairs that led to Turner’s uprising is vivid and on target. Jackie Earle Haley, a.k.a. Kelly Leak of The Bad News Bears, successfully portrays one of the most repugnant, irredeemable characters ever put to screen.
Stylistically, the film gets a little strange in a few moments, but the end results and impressions are long lasting, very meaningful ones.