Found footage goes cthonic?
I dislike found footage, but I like absurdist and folkloric horror. So I end up liking this movie more than I probably should.
However…there is one thing that I think tilts this movie more in my favor than not.
The stag, the masks, the underworld labrynth, hell, the caves are a flipping Mound, the double-dark self, the liminal- this movie centers around something that easily could be watchtowers, the dreamwalking, the stealing of energies, the gates…
I’m not saying that every movie that plays with Pagan imagery is deliberately Pagan. In fact, I’d argue that the film crew had NO idea. But what I’m saying is this is the most Samhain movie that has nothing to do with Samhain that I’ve ever seen. A lot of reviewers say that the end of movie makes no sense-except that it does, I just don’t expect anyone who’s not Pagan or spent a lot of time working with the Pagan mythos (myth-i? We’ll go with mythologies) to really ‘get it’. Because I get it, I just don’t know if I could explain it to someone who doesn’t think like us easily.
(Is it weird that the first time I’m openly identifying myself as Pagan on this blog is in the middle of a film review? Yeah, that’s sort of strange.)
This is pretty much Arawn set to run wild through the backwoods somewhere.
I’m not actually singing the praises of this film as some sort of Pagan epic. Because it’s not, and I really do feel that someone may have just been half-remembering something they heard a long time ago. And stag do live in the woods, so seeing a deer doesn’t mean much of anything.
It’s a good movie up until the final quarter, where things really start sliding down the rabbit hole. I like the disjointed quality of it, however, and I actually am one of those viewers who doesn’t need my horror to make sense in the end. It lacks a lot of the annoying features that I hate the most about found footage, and it’s a much easier watch than many. And frankly, it’s nice to look at.
There’s not a lot of plot in this review, and that’s deliberate. I think that this is one of those movies that works best if you really have no idea going into it.