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Written by: Joshua Nelson |   Directed by: Joshua Nelson |  Genre: Horror

A woman is stabbing someone, and there is lots of blood. Over and over again as she screams, and finally, after around a zillion stabs, she decides she wants some ice cream. It’s a brilliant opening for a film described as being a horror movie with some dark comedy. The introduction to Menopause is perfect.

We then meet a couple who have been married for 23 years and who, like so many, seems to be trying to rediscover that spark in their relationship. Actually, the wife is… while the husband seems more interested in anything except that shortly after, we meet another spattering of characters: a divorced couple and the new, younger replacement model who is absolutely a moron. A true movie trope of the dumb young replacement woman, and oh, by the way, there is also a couple planning a birthday adventure somewhere in there as well as a group home of sorts for abused women and the crew that populate it. But the people are only a piece of the plot because this movie is about an upcoming eclipse and the effects it has on people—women in particular. As said eclipse draws near, the women of 

Menopause begin to slowly go crazy, and none of them are looking to crunch away at some randomly craved food. They begin to dream of blood. Blood from whatever man happens to be in the area, whether they deserve it or not. Menopause is one giant horror movie cliche, and I quickly decided that it was done on purpose. What good is a micro-budget horror movie without cliche? This film from Joshua Nelson is all the cliche you can handle with a wink to whoever finds this movie in their ‘to watch’ list. Almost every man in this film is portrayed as a dick, but even if they are not, it doesn’t really matter by the end. Eventually, the women are killing every man they come across. This plot device is introduced pretty early on with a delivery driver bringing some food. It’s not much later that the plot is spelled out for the audience in the form of a speech regarding the origins of some popular modern phrases. Menopause goes out of its way to make sure we understand what’s happening, no matter how silly it may be. But who really cares how silly the details of a horror movie are? The intended audience wants one thing. Killing and carnage. Although it’s a little slow to the plate in those departments, eventually, Menopause begins to release some steam, and the killing starts. No man is safe, and this movie gets most of its review stars from the last chapter when the real fun begins.

Using a total solar eclipse as the reason people are going crazy may not be a totally new idea, but it’s always been a fun one. Menopause doubles down on knowing what its audience wants and leaves everything else as a secondary measure. At times a lot of this film feels a little off the cuff, but once the real killing begins, it’s all about having fun and letting off steam in a way only a movie can provide. I did like the reversal of cliches by having the women of the film being the ‘monsters’ and the men the dumb, helpless victims. But talking about that would mean I would have to deconstruct Menopause more than I would like. I don’t want to deconstruct it. I want to enjoy it, and that I did. 3.5/5 stars, and thank you for reading.

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