herpe5000’s review published on Letterboxd:
love love love, the end of this movie is the definition of catharsis. I realized I had been so enthralled and connected to Dani by the end I was so excited for her new opportunity with the hot Swedish man before I remembered he’s part of this weird pagan death cult.
One huge thing I took away from this movie is if we’re looking at cultures comparatively, the individualistic way Americans live leaves no proper outlet for grief. Obviously w cliff diving elders death is viewed rather differently by these people, but the collective mourning and communal expression of deep guttural emotions is what actually allows Dani to come to terms with what has happened to her. even tho this is a horror film and that shit they were doing was fucked— maybe ritualized grieving isn’t necessarily a bad.
Another thing is the way Ari Fisher presented isn’t with Pelle, as the sort of third to this love triangle. He clearly has feelings for Dani and can empathize deeply with her, something not possible with the emotionally absent Christian. Despite this, however, and despite how hot and tall he is, a relationship with Pelle is in nooooooooooooooooooooo way any much better than the toxic relationship she found herself in. Like understanding how everyone got there, and seeing how Pelle refuses to participate in the boys’ gossip and scheming against Dani— I take it as he had been plotting for her the whole time. He did specially say he was excited for her to come. Basically, even tho after they kissed I got so giddy and was super hype for my girl to get this Swedish man, Fisher reminds us that the motives of a white knight trying to rescue a girl from her undeserving boyfriend are most likely never benevolent. Contrary to Hollywood’s romanticism of love triangles where the guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after, Dani now is going to have to death with the incest oracles and human sacrifices that occur fairly regularly here. Basically men are trash