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October 14, 2009

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I too saw it at the New York Film Festival. Overall, I thought it was a complete mess of a film, but seeing it in a packed theater with the audience reaction made it sort of 'fun.' I also thought it was a fairly effective psychological horror film for about 2/3 of the way. For some time, it even felt like it was going make a statement on grief or loss, but it ultimately just came off controversial for controversy's sake.

Saw it at the Toronto Film Fest. I suppose having already heard and read various opinions on the film when i saw it saved me from the film's initial shock value. However i did not find it to be very controversial in its images. I do not take Von Tier or any self rightously artistic filmmaker too seriously enough to have been offended by what i essentially understood, upon first viewing, to be an angry work by an angry artist. Other than its excellent visual and audio execution that really does owe almost all of itself to past significant horror films (Kubrick!), there is no credible point to the film other than Von Tier taking out his personal fustrations on squeamish and easily offended viewers. All that said; i still quite liked it and will watch it again someday.

I don't see why everybody talks only about the controversial values of this movie. Controversial to whom? I think it is a good, if somewhat flawed, horror movie, that is beautifully shot and manages to bridge the gap between Algernon Blackwood and Tarkovski.

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