The Tonal Disaster of ‘The Book of Henry’

By  · Published on October 17th, 2017

Like The Lovely Bones before it, this miscalculated stinker rang false.

The Book of Henry was an utterly preposterous trainwreck of a film (and, even moreso, of a business investment) that reflected so poorly on director Colin Trevorrow that some peg his Star Wars firing on the film’s failure. The film – about a child prodigy, sexual abuse, kitschy schemes, and revenge – already sounds ridiculous on paper. That it was made at all is shocking.

But some argue that, given to another director, it had potential.

Andrew Saladino’s newest video focuses on the film’s tonal miscalculation. Instead of taking itself so seriously, this is diagnosed as the film’s fatal flaw (which is where I disagree, seeing as the script itself contains so much asinine coincidence and madness that any tone would feel off). Saladino, however, does a great job explaining how tone can make or break a film of this scale – even when all the other ingredients seem right.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).