An old-school Swedish grief-parable and pretty baleful. I'm not sure I'd recommend it; it's not as clever or emotionally moving as it thinks it is but it is grim. Couple grieving for their dead child are subjected to a cycle of weird torments by a group of surrealist fairy-tale psychopaths in a wood.
It's not as horrible as 'Funny Games' or 'Antichrist' by far but it shares a similar dreary, circular ambience. Cool shadow-puppet sequence in the middle. Cw for several dead dogs.
Cronenberg keeps some of the family preoccupations going whilst further distinguishing himself with this ultra-violent tale of proxy-assassins and the numbing of the moral sense, in this case Riseborough's; a killer about to void her own humanity. A clinical approach punctuated with horrific acts; a vivid color-sense, stylized photography, cold characters, hallucinatory montages. I averted my eyes from the screen at least twice. Cruel and classy.
An indescribably bleak story of coming home far too late in rural Texas. Filmed in the director's own childhood homestead, the geography of familiar places is subverted into a labyrinth of creeping despair. What does the entity want? This is one of those stories where you feel suffocated by shadows. Do not watch depressed.
Everything you could wish for in a horror movie concerned with emotions and social issues; poignant, harrowing performances; a suggestive script; vivid photography, a haunted house/ environment with a proper realist geography that warps into a dreamscape, and a crucial subtext. The horror in this film is what extra-ordinary people have endured; some of the most powerful unease is evoked walking to the doctor. The effect is healing without easy sentimental answers. One of the best of the year.
The movie is overpraised for its First people's premise and cast; which could have been fascinating but after a good start, it's mostly wasted on a dull, cliched script and wooden performances across the board, with the possible exception of the Black Sheep son who is a cardboard villain. Sadly, this is not anything like the film it could have been; any Romero-esque satire on commentary on racism and imperialism is squandered, though it is vividly shot and the physical effects are very satisfying.