THE MILL on Hulu is a sci-fi horror movie starring Lil Rel Howery who is the only person on the screen for a long time. It works because both he and the story works. The plot could’ve been an episode of the iconic BLACK MIRROR anthology, so it’s quite dark. Read our full The Mill movie review here!
THE MILL is a new Hulu sci-fi horror movie being released in the month of Halloween. As such, it’s a perfect addition to “Huluween”, because despite this being labeled “sci-fi thriller”, it has plenty of brutal horror in it. The very core of the movie feels like something out of Black Mirror. And I do mean for this to be a huge compliment.
I should warn you that this is indeed a very dark story. Just like some of the Black Mirror episodes. Hopefully, it’s make you reflect a bit on your own life in a positive way. Though I’m sure many will also simply watch this and relate to the main character – portrayed wonderfully by Lil Rel Howery – in a way that might make you feel quite depressed. Sorry about that, but you really should watch this.
Continue reading our The Mill movie review below. Find the very dark story on Hulu from October 9, 2023.
A very dark Hulu Original
The Mill (2023) is a Hulu Original and a very dark one at that. We meet the successful businessman (Lil Rel Howery) as he wakes up beside an ancient grist mill. He is still wearing a very nice suit but is on the ground next to this ancient-looking mill. It’s placed in the middle of an open-air prison cell, and he has no idea how he got there.
Via very simple projection on the prison wall, he is told the time and the rounds he needs to push the mill to meet his quota. He’s also informed that it is indeed his own place of work that runs this place. Given just a tiny sandwich and some water, he is expected to do hard physical labor.
Actually, he is told right off the bat that “meeting his quota” isn’t even enough. Because at this company, you have to exceed all goals at all times. He isn’t even there alone, which is also learned early on. Along with the fact that whoever does the least rounds with the grist mill on any given day will be terminated.
Being terminated sounds extremely brutal, so you do not want to be the one with the fewest mill rounds. For our guy, Joe, there’s one huge reason why he needs to be the best and escape; His wife is very pregnant and he absolutely has the be there for the birth of his child.
So many important messages
As the story in The Mill unfolds, Joe (Lil Rel Howery) goes through a lot. All the stages of grief really, as he is both (understandably!) in denial and anger, tries to bargain with the forces in control, gets depressed, and appears to accept his circumstances. Not that he accepts being there, but he seems to acknowledge that he needs to put in the work to get out.
Of course, it’s never as simple as “putting in the work” as the quotas change and Joe simply does not pay attention to the man in his neighboring cell. The guy tries to tell him what to do while also being honest that he cannot help him too much, but he will not listen.
Before The Mill is over, subjects such as the need for unions and finding out what’s most important to you are touched upon.
It does become a bit long and the ending will not be for everyone. Overall, the setting and story are bleak and tap into something most of us are able to relate to; Why do we work so much that it becomes our life? Who are we breaking our backs for and do they even care? Also, is there even such a thing as work/life balance once you’ve started indebting yourself?!
Yeah, fun stuff, I know.
Watch The Mill on Hulu!
The Mill is directed by Sean King O’Grady (We Need to Do Something). The screenplay comes from Jeffrey David Thomas (All American: Homecoming, Titans), and I like the way his mind works. It does go very dark, but it works for this story. In fact, it’s necessary for it to work. You cannot let up if you want to get the point across and it most certainly gets across in The Mill.
I loved Lil Rel Howery in The Mill, but then again, I do tend to always enjoy him in these darker stories with important messages. Jordan Peele’s Get Out is another obvious example. He was an absolute hero in that movie, and while he tries to do the same here, it’s a very different situation. Still, Lil Rel Howery delivers exactly what this story needs. Also, Pat Healy has a small role and is great as always.
The subjects of The Mill are so extremely universal and important for our happiness that I hope viewers will pick up on most of it.
In that particular sense, The Mill did remind me a lot of the Netflix movie The Platform. An absolutely brilliant movie as well, so do check it out if you haven’t already. If you’ve watched The Platform on Netflix and enjoyed it, you absolutely must watch The Mill on Hulu as well. Enjoy! Or, well, you know, take from it what you can and be happy you’re not in Joe’s place. At least, I hope you’re not.
The Mill is on Hulu on October 9, 2023.
Director: Sean King O’Grady
Writer: Jeffrey David Thomas
Cast: Lil Rel Howery, Pat Healy, Karen Obilom, Patrick Fischler
A businessman (Lil Rel Howery) wakes up beside an ancient grist mill situated in the center of an open-air prison cell with no idea how he got there.