DVDizzy.com | Movie Reviews | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | Search This Site

Master Movie Review

Master (2022) movie poster Master

Theatrical Release: March 18, 2022

Running Time: 99 Minutes

Rating: R

Writer/Director: Mariama Diallo

Cast: Regina Hall (Gail Bishop), Zoe Renee (Jasmine Moore), Talia Ryder (Amelia), Talia Balsam (Diandra), Amber Gray (Liv Beckman), Ella Hunt (Cressida), Noa Fisher (Katie), Kara Young (Sascha), Bruce Altman (Brian)


Master marks a promising yet wildly uneven film debut for writer-director Mariama Diallo.
Set at a predominantly white liberal arts college in New England, this thriller gives off Get Out vibes but fails to find similar success with its own mix of chilling mystery and social commentary surrounding race.

Our attentions are divided between faculty member Gail Bishop (Regina Hall) and freshman Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee), both new to the school. Whereas Bishop is exalted as the school's first Master (as in head of house), Jasmine feels somewhat uncomfortable amidst the casually racist comments of her peers. Both women also feel the impact of residing in a building said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman hanged by witchcraft. Jasmine occupies the room where back in the 1960s the school's first black graduate fell victim to the alleged curse.

On a run around their New England college town, faculty members Gail Bishop (Regina Hall) and Liv Beckman (Amber Gray) have their eyes caught in Mariama Diallo's "Master" (2022).

Diallo succeeds at setting the scene and immersing us in an environment we haven't encountered in countless films before. The challenges of introducing diversity to a predominantly homogenous environment are specific to the present day and make for an intriguing subject.
Unfortunately, Diallo can never figure out where to go from there, following on a number of threads, none of them strong enough to take center stage, and incorporating some horror imagery to the developing unrest.

Maggots spill out of portraits, Jasmine's sleep is disturbed by an otherworldly presence under her bed, and a teacher (Amber Gray) applying for tenure is subjected to a grading dispute. The viewer longs for these disparate story ideas to come together in a cohesive and compelling way, but it never happens. Diallo longs to imbue her first film with substance and relevance unusual for horror movies, but the disjointed final product feels like a first draft that got placed in a greenlight pile instead of beginning the processes of feedback and creative honing.

The worst instincts are present in the film's final act, in which a bizarre twist regarding racial identity is introduced with no chance of being sufficiently explored or explained. What could have been a timely and thought-provoking work ends up quite hollow and underdeveloped. That might explain why the film reaches Amazon Prime as original content rather than sparking conversations in art houses or multiplexes.

Related Reviews:
Now in Theaters: The Batman The Outfit Uncharted Moonfall Death on the Nile
Regina Hall: Support the Girls
Get Out

DVDizzy.com | Movie Reviews | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | Search This Site

DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

Reviewed March 23, 2022.

Text copyright 2022 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2022 Amazon Studios.
Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.