Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
Update: Director’s Cut
This was definitely an improvement over the theatrical version. It added, what I thought to be, essential continuity and context to relationships and character fates, especially regarding Dani/Christian and Christian/Josh. Added a lot more of Mark just being an idiot and vaping. New ritual scene was pretty cool. Having seen it before, I picked up on details and foreshadowing which made it much more enjoyable to watch. The toxicity of Dani and Christian’s relationship was much more clear and made the ending that much more understandable and... satisfying.
Entirely too long and nothing ever happens. That’s it. That’s the review. I’m not counting Ari Aster out, I think he’s incredibly talented, but this just wasn’t it. And this wasn’t a movie I expected to be scary; just very upsetting, uncomfortable and weird. Which it was, but mild. Hereditary had more teeth, but it’s very clear that something far more fucked up was going on here and we barely saw any of it. The characters never really evolved beyond their own self-interest, or in Dani’s case, their immense grief. So I could not bring myself to truly care for them.
I didn’t like that it was so overexposed so often, but some scenes where this was toned down actually were quite pretty. There’s a fantastic shot during the first dinner scene where two elders are framed with a yellow triangular building in between them. However, it’s composed in a forced perspective where the building looks much bigger than it actually is and that really stuck with me. The shroom trip effects were cool, seemingly making everything look “alive” and kinda made me wish I was on something watching this. Probably would’ve made it a better experience.