Peter Strickland's first teature, is one of those films that lingers in the mind and you find yourself mulling over the storyline and remembering an image or a sound.The film is like a Brothers Grimm tale,where there's danger lurking in the woods and revenge will have its price.Hilda Peter is excellent in the title role.As is Norbert Tanko as her son Orban,who accompanies her across Transylvania,to meet her destiny.
A revenge story from Romania with powerful performances (especially from the lead Hilda Peter) and vivid direction of Peter Strickland who additionally utilises the score and the surrounding setting as contributing characters to the film. The story unravels in a slow pace whilst the drama builds up to the final retribution.
Peter Strickland's film is perhaps, on paper, little more than an arthouse rape revenge story. But it is sublimely and subtly executed as well as being splendidly shot. The scene on the boat will stay with me for quite some time.
Western guy goes to Transylvania to copy Romanian classic 'Baltagul' ('The Axe'), and to prove himself clueless about the place. Cardboard dialogues and acting, bombastic music. The 'etno dance' scenes are an insult to the locals.