Geez, April already. Just under a month left until school is done for the summer - finally. Unfortunately for me though, this also means that exams are coming up :( Which requires studying, which requires notes, which equals more work then I've done in a long time. But enough of my sob story, though it is a terribly dramatic one, it's time for another review. Yes, that's right, It's Friday and I'm spending my time writing a review for a horror movie. Sad, I know. But here goes...
A couple of my friends had been telling me about this one for a while now, so I figured I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and give it a go. The movie takes place in present day and is about a husband and wife who are trying to come to terms with their young son's death. The wife takes the death especially hard and ends up being hospitalized as a result. When she recovers, the husband, who is played by Willem Dafoe, suggests that she conquer her most painful memory of their son. The wife suggests the family cabin, where she and the young boy spent the summer while she was working on her thesis. The couple travel to the cabin and then that's when the weird stuff starts happening. Now, I really don't want to give away the best parts of this one because I actually really enjoyed it.
In terms of acting, this one is really great. As I said, Willem Dafoe stars as the husband and Charlotte Gainsbourg as the wife. The two are really great together, and although there are quite a few 'raunchy' scenes where we unfortunately see some of Mr. Dafoe's naughty parts, you quickly get past that and come to see what a great duo these two are. Yeah, should have mentioned that before but this is not a PG movie, it is quite graphic so don't watch it with your kids. The film's directed by Lars Von Trier, a filmmaker from Denmark and, though the film obviously has a semi-low budget, WOW is all I can say. The cinematography and directing style is unique and honestly captivating. All I can say is that I hope Von Trier makes more horror films in the future because his directing style is incredible.
Okay, now here is where I may accidentally give some parts away. So, you've been forewarned. This movie is more disturbing then it is scary. In this way it is able to have deeper meanings because it takes itself seriously, making the film itself more realistic and less ridiculous. Now, saying that, it has many deeper meanings which obviously come through towards the end of the film. One of the largest and most obvious themes is the natural evil of women and their relation to nature. The wife ends up going crazy towards the end, and Dafoe finds old research notes from her thesis in which she changed her subject entirely to the natural evilness of women. Dafoe finds clippings from witchcraft books, books about demons and angels and the like. The film addresses the ideas that the Bible creates of women being the reason why mankind cannot be in paradise. It is their natural instinct to manipulate, defy and destroy. Geez, I feel like I'm writing an English essay.
Now, I don't want to give away the scary bits because a) it would ruin the fun of you seeing it ;) and b) they are, as I said, quite disturbing and very graphic. Overall though, I loved this movie. It disturbed me in the same way that movies like the original Saw did. The simple idea of some of the events which transpire in the film are grotesquely absurd and terribly spine-tingling. While the movie is not exactly 'frightening' in the traditional sense of serial killer, ghost, creature, etc. It is still very cringe-worthy. I give this one an eight out of ten. Could have been a bit scarier at times but was still incredibly disturbing, combined with great actors and an incredible director. But seriously, don't watch this with your kids.
Or, at least that's my 2 cents anyway.