|Duration||2h 27m||Rating (UK)||18|
|Source of story||An original screenplay|
|Starring||Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Vilheim Blomgren|
Elevator Pitch: Pelle, a student in America who has been brought up in a commune in Northern Sweden, invites three fellow students, Christian, Josh and Mark, to his home for a festival which takes place every 90 years. Christian reluctantly invites his girlfriend, Dani, who have recently had the trauma of finding that her sister has killed her parents and herself, to go along. In Sweden the Americans, and a British couple invited by Pelle’s brother, are welcomed, take halucinogens and assigned beds in the dormitory. During the first ceremonies two old inhabitants throw themselves from a cliff, and then the British couple disappear. Can things get any weirder?
Content: R rated in America for “disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language”. The boys bicker a bit before leaving America and we get the impression that they expect to get laid. We see Dani’s parents and sister dead, as the firemen enter the house, making Dani cling to Christian even more than before, despite their disfunctional relationship. In Sweden the commune carries out a lot of rituals, most of them quite boring, involving sitting at very well laid dining tables for a long time. Members of the group disappear and we wonder why (but those remaining don’t, apparently).
A View: I was put off right from the start, as the visitors drive up towards the commune they come across people sitting about in the grass. They get out of their car and take magic mushrooms which results in them sleeping overnight in the grass. Then they seem to arrive on foot at the commune. What happened to the car? Just the first of many unanswered questions, the writer/director sacrificing any form of reality for blood and gore. There is sex, and in the screen where we saw it there was laughter during the scene. Most of the critics approved of it, but I’d like to have my two and a half hours back.
Additional info: This was originally intended to be a basic slasher film, but the director, who had just suffered from a painful break-up, changed the emphasis to deal with the emotional interaction between Dani and Christian.