This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
aisha’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
at times, heartwarming and in others, terrifying, this is one of the movies you’d think is catered for kids, but explores many themes that aren’t for kids. they show gory murders, monsters scarier than those from the depths of hell and pregnancy scares. i felt sick watching this, but it also made me so engrossed in the film. it made me feel things most movies fail to invoke from me. in short, don’t go into it thinking it’s a sweet, Peter Pan-esque childrens’ story. it is an incredible horror and i promise you’ll enjoy it.
the ending HAUNTS me because we, as the audience, are left in the cold as to whether the fairytale occurrences are real or her fantasies.
the film begins with a clip of her in her last moments, but it then goes back in time and we follow her journey at the captain’s house. they say we have a flashback of our life in our dying moments, and if we look at this as made-up fantasies and nothing magical actually happened, we see that it was her way of coping under the stress of a new environment and estrangement of a horrible stepfather.
as she laid there choking on her last breaths, she is shown to be reunited with her parents in the ‘kingdom’, but really, it was all in her head and she is simply joining them in death. she isn’t really the princess of the underworld, it was simply her way of interpreting death to make the pain go away. take it all out of context, she is just a scared, young girl who is dying. she then uses her imagination to cling onto the only thing she cherished: being a princess in her parents’ eyes.
maybe none of it happened at all, and she conjured all the events in her head there as she laid on the cold ground, trying to make sense of the situation as best as she could, trying to make sense of all the horrible things that’s been happening around her to lead to her own stepfather shooting her. a beautifully tragic ending. what a masterpiece.
P.S: i’m really glad i didn’t watch this when it came out and when it was talked about all the time cause i was like 8 and this movie would have scarred me for life.