Expectations again. This Hungarian film was described as a horror, well actually “somewhere between Terrence Malick, Andrei Tarkovsky and a horror film.” It wasn’t a horror. It was a dark tale to be sure but slow to get to its point. That would have been the Tarkovsky bit.
The story revolves around Daniel and his mother Rebeka. She has split from his father and so Dani shares his time between their houses. Rebeka is telling him a dark fairytale that weaves its way all through the film, about The Fairy and her child, Honey, and The Hunter. We also see the antagonistic interactions between Dani’s parents, although his father is never shown, and Rebeka dealing with the death of her mother. As we spiral further in to their world, of rabid fox ghosts and dark cellars, forests and closed up houses, we gradually realise that the fairytale is not a fiction but a retelling.
There is some dark beauty in this film and nice cinematography but I didn’t love the sections of ‘atmospheric’ footage of Lego constructions that seemed to be filmed on an iPhone and lit with a torch. I understand perhaps the purpose of this, creating a visual representation of the child’s view of the tale we are hearing, but it seemed to get in the way of the story. It dragged, I occasionally rested my eyes, but I’m glad I held out to the end.
Bechdel test – fail