We’ve come across the first movie that left me thinking “huh.”
I can say I didn’t hate it, and visually it’s gorgeous to look at, but it’s just a little… well… huh.
This Czechoslovakian film is haunting, and disturbing.
The story follows young Valerie who very early in the film, has her very first menstruation. It follows her not so much on a journey of sexual discovery, but definitely becoming more aware of her sexual self.
Sounds fairly basic, but with the way it’s shot, and the contents of the film push it into the realms of fantasy and horror, landing it a spot in the 101 Horror Movies.
The film is a surreal mesh of fairytale, fantasy, horror, and very weird family trees.
She is also assaulted by a visiting missionary, who attempts to sleep with her, and then hangs himself, only to return to life and proclaim her as a witch.
Her corpse-like grandmother/cousin/mother (or not) whom Valerie lives with, is also willing to sacrifice Valerie and her blood to reclaim her own youth, as well as that of the father.
Then for all that, she happens to have feelings for a boy, who we learn fairly early on is related to her as well.
It’s all very convoluted, disturbing and through it all, sexual imagery is very prevalent. Apparently most of the town is willing to drop and make love to anyone at a hat… any hat.
The film is interesting, and like I said lovely to watch, the cinematography and shot composition is gorgeous, but the subject matter of the relationships tends to be a little disturbing.
This is definitely not a film for everyone, but once again, if it wasn’t for this handy little book, I never would’ve seen it at all.