And we are back with – Midsommar. What? We already did this one? Well, if you had actually listened to the episode, you’d know that Midsommar had so much to talk about that we had to break it into 2 episodes! Shame on your for not knowing that.
So here we are, the last of what happens and of course, our thoughts on it. Where is everything leading? What will happen to our crazy cast of foreigners? I’ll tell you this – they got away with it even with those darn kids.
Don’t forget to check out part A to get all the good stuff at the beginning of the movie.
So you have a lady who is addressing the group gathered in the field.
She has a pair of torches and she hands one to one torch to a woman and says something in Swedish. That is actually captioned this time.
Stephen: Yes. One of the few times.
Rhys: Yeah. I’m not sure. Astor really does just sometimes he captions. Sometimes he doesn’t just when he wants to increase the mystery, I don’t know.
But she says this high, my fire, no higher, no hotter. And then she hands one to an old woman and one to an old man and she claps her hands and yells out spirits back to the dead. The old man and the old woman I refer to throughout the rest of my notes as the honored couple . Cause they don’t really have names.
And again, the old man was actually played by an actor who is semi-famous in Swedish circles. The rest of us don’t know who he is, but we cut away to a young girl. She’s fixing her red hair in a mirror. We find out her name’s Maya. She’s seemingly getting herself, pumped up to do something. We’re not really sure what it is.
And then she walks out of the bathroom and on the door, there are these rooms carved in the door in this kind of square, like pattern on the inside. She leaves this barn looking structure into the bright daylight. She was the only one in the building and everyone else is singing and dancing.
So this is our first introduction, really to Maya. She’s like gearing up for something. We’re not really sure what it is. Then there’s several things like that already. Yeah. And again, yeah. We’re oh, sorry, go ahead.
I was just gonna say where he introduces something. He doesn’t tell you why it’s important.
He just says, here’s this thing. And we do end up coming back to all of them, finding out why.
Stephen: And then those always seem very innocuous. It’s they’re always like, oh yeah. Okay, great something. But it’s, there’s there’s gotta be something more sinister about it but it doesn’t look that way just taking out context by itself.
But then when we skip back to the main character and her friends, they’ve been taking so many drugs, the mushrooms, the drinks who knows what’s in the food. And that’s a question that comes up here in a bit. And then it, there’s always more like what is really going on. It’s always the, from their camera point of view that the really disturbing stuff is seen, but when it’s not around them, it seems normal until the end again.
Yeah. Watch it more than once to pick up on some of this, for sure.
Rhys: Yeah. P and his four guests along with Imar and his two guests are seated on the grass. As Pella tells people that they should join the dance. Nobody actually does, but he says, Hey, you guys should get up and dance. A group of kids comes running past and Simon asks what they’re playing.
Simon is the British guy who came with Ingmar. Imar informs him, they’re playing a game called skin, the fool. And as the dancers goes by, one of them kicks Christian. And it turns out to be this red haired girl from earlier Maya. Now the skin, the fool comment that comes up, actually, it’s just like a passing off the cuff kind of thing.
However, it becomes a really big deal later on, especially to mark . But we’ll get to that in a bit. Once Maya dances by and kicks Christian and flashes him a smile, Christian decides he wants to join the dance. And so does Josh. So they get up and they leave the circle and pillow takes this chance to tell Danny happy birthday.
And he hands her, this sketch that he made her as a presence on the bottom, right corner of the sketch are two ruins that he’s carved in that he’s drawn on it. The ruins are only significant because in the end, the dress that she wears at the end has the ruins on the dress. Oh, I didn’t even
Stephen: catch that.
Rhys: Now. I tried to, to translate the ruins and it’s really difficult because it seems like they’re using a blend of multiple versions of who a, for the ruins. And so the ones I was looking at didn’t have some of the ones that are in that show up. So I don’t exactly know what those ruins meant on there.
Maybe it was just his signature or I don’t. Join us. Yeah. yeah. He says that it’s something that he does for birthdays and it’s just between them and she mentions that Christian forgot. So the sketch is amazing and PE looks like, he’s sorry sorry for her. And she immediately belittles her criticism of Christian because that’s what she does.
She’s oh no, it’s just, it’s silly of me to be upset. The fact that this person I’ve been with for three years, Doesn’t even know my flipping birthday.
Stephen: Hey, to be fair, my mother’s birthday’s tomorrow and I’ve remembered it so far. I’m not late this time. So kudos
Rhys: to you. Yeah. Have you gotten her anything?
Stephen: Yeah, actually I did ahead of time. Not like that night, so well done.
Stephen: Yeah. Congrats to me.
Rhys: We cut to the group of foreigners. Now there’s six of them and PE and Ingmar and they’re walking away and Josh is asking how the community is supported. And we find out that the community actually makes their money via lumbering timber homeopathics, and they get their power from hydro electrics.
So apparently there’s a FD, a dam on a Fjord somewhere. There’s a group of children sitting a circle off to the side, carving ruins, which they’ll put under their pillows to dream about the powers of the ruins. and you hear mark saying, oh yeah, I do that too. And there’s a large stone carved with ruins in elder Fu Ark, which is one that shows up here a lot, as far as the various ROIC alphabets, Simon and Connie ask Danny how long she and Christian have been together in he says it’s been three years only to have her correct him and say that it’s four turns out that Connie and Ingmar had been a thing.
At least he thought they were, and she’s no, we were never really a thing. And then she hooked up with Simon and it’s been six months and now they’re engaged. And Danny’s what? Much to I’m sure. Christians dismay. Yeah. Christian won’t even look at them. And he changed the subject to asking about a building in the distance.
Stephen: building, which from a story standpoint, this is all interesting, cuz it’s not an info dump so much, but we get a sense of the characters and it brings in this building. So it’s a good, it was a good little conversation with multiple things going on. But very innocuous.
Rhys: It all feels very conversational.
Yeah. but there’s a whole lot of information that’s passed back and forth. And like you said, a lot of what they choose to talk about or ask about reflects their characters like directly. And it’s really interesting that the first person to actually mention the building in the distance is Christian as by the end of the movie, he’s the center of the building in the distance.
Stephen: gets to see the inside.
Rhys: Yes. It is bright, yellow and triangular, and it’s the only big splash of yellow. You really get in this movie. PE says it’s a sacred temple and no one is allowed in. Then he’s going to show them where they sleep and Inmar is going to show him something in Swedish, the camera, pans, back and forth.
The group’s back up and Simon says, so are we just gonna ignore this bear? And there’s this large brown bear in a rather small cage Connie points to something and asks what it is. And Ingmar says that they can go check it out. So they walk over and there is a mural knitted in cloth, like yeah, little point.
Yeah. It depicts a ceremony where a girl sees a man. She likes, she picks some flowers and puts them under her pillow and dreams of him. Then she cuts some pubic hair and puts it in his food and collects some menstrual blood. After she feeds these two items to him, he is under her spell. And they’re now a couple.
Stephen: Yeah. This is the. First we know it was gonna be disturbing, but it’s the first real disturbing indication, that and it’s right to left. Also. It’s not a left to right story however, it’s needle point. So it’s on both sides of the cloth. True. And they’re standing on the other side of it.
True. So I wonder if there’s, so they’re reading it left to to us seeing it differently. I wonder, have to think about that.
Rhys: The other interesting thing is I think that’s the first ever pornographic needle point I’ve ever seen. yeah.
Stephen: It’s all the things inside the buildings you would expect them to be a little Greek in there with some of the what’s drawn, but it’s really not it’s this is the yeah.
And the music. Starts to change a little bit here. And then when the ceremonies that’s coming up, it changes even more. It’s been lighthearted flutes in the meadow, running through it with the fairies and stuff. And now it starts getting some ominous tones and it keeps getting darker as the rest of the movie goes on
Rhys: with the dissonance and everything.
This, the music guy who directed the music here, and I should have looked him up and I apologized that I didn’t, but really well done with the way he used music and the compositions that he made for this. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m not saying I’m glad that poor dogs, the stand in for, or that poor bears to stand in for the dog in this movie.
Stephen: The small bear that they’re ignoring in a cage, it’s like man, that sucks to be the bear. I’m sorry.
Rhys: Poor bear. Yeah. The bunkhouse where they’re gonna be sleeping is this large open barn like structure it’s covered in painted decorations, illustrations, and room scriptures. Everyone who walks in is just in awe of it.
They’re looking at all the various pictures painted on the walls. All the younger people sleep in the bunkhouse until they’re 36 and Josh asks PE why? And he points out that they mark life in four different seasons. Each one being a factor of nine, cuz nine is likely the driving number in this movie.
Zero to 18. Your children now from 19 to 36, you go on this pilgrimage where you see the world from 37 to 54, your workers you’re getting stuff done. And from 55 to 72, you are a mentor. You’re teaching the community. Danny asks what happens at 72 and PE makes that throat slicing gesture and they all chuckle ha.
It’s not so funny here in a scene. Her two. No,
Stephen: yeah. They’re very serious about their ages.
Rhys: Yes. There’s a lot of logistical conversations with the guys that are over there talking. And Danny kind of walks to a different section of the barn and she’s looking at these photographic portraits of the past may queen and she asks PE to confirm if that’s who they are.
And we find that he and Christian whispering about something. And you can tell that PE is basically telling Christian, Hey, dumb ask you, forgot her birthday. Josh asks about the Queens and it turns out through victors in a dance competition. So it’s a big dance off to pick your ma queen.
Stephen: most of them look. I don’t know, you get the sense that in the past, these have all been girls of the village. They all had
Rhys: that blonde hair.
Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve got visitors this time, even though our main character, it looks very similar and that’s very important actually. But it, that, that was again where I was questioning the, hold on.
They said, this is every 90 years, but they all know of it. They celebrate. So that’s where I was like, okay, they must have this big part every 90 years with just normal ceremonies in between.
Rhys: Add it in. Yeah. This girl comes in and tells everyone they’re watching powers and they’re welcome to join.
And it’s subtitled in Swedish, which is a, and that sounds movie
Stephen: choice you would think and you’ve never seen any electricity yet, but they mentioned watching this movie in the hydro electrics and stuff. So it’s that, there’s a little dissonance there in the way you feel with that.
Rhys: I can just see you going, Hey, I’m showing Austin Powers on the side of the house, if you wanna come over.
Stephen: Yeah. That Temple’s perfect size
Rhys: yeah. The girl kind of pauses as she looks at mark, and he automatically assumes that she’s into him just instantly. Oh, did you see that? Did you guys see that too? He’s a
Stephen: horny 1920 year old
Rhys: yes. Christian calls Danny aside and they go outside. There’s a group of girls standing around an old woman.
Who’s holding an infant and Danny’s looking at them. Then Christian pulls this little cake with a candle in it outta nowhere and tries to light the candle, singing happy birthday. Danny seems surprised when he does manage to get it lit, he apologizes and Danny says it’s not a big deal and blows the candle out.
It’s a nice metaphor for their relationship. Yeah. It really is. Try and light this candle over and over again. I’ll finally get it lit. You’d be like, it’s not a big deal. And then just move on, snuff it out. Yeah. There’s a nice shot of the complex later in the day. It’s actually at night, but the sun doesn’t go down this far, north this late in the summer.
So everyone is betting down. There’s a child crying. They put blackout sheets over the window so you can actually sleep. They put a rattle under its pillow under the baby’s pillow. And pillow is telling his friends that tomorrow is the first of the big ceremonies. Josh wants to know what it is.
And PE says it’s at a stupa, Christian tries to look it up on his phone, but he has no service. And Josh seems to know what it is, but he won’t say he’s being coy. Danny can’t sleep and she’s looking at the mural by her bed of a man in a frock seeming to cut his hand under the gaze of the bright red sun, which is interesting because the pictures we find out is direct reference to the Estopa that’s coming up.
Yeah. Which she’s going to watch now, this is the interesting thing. Because as you point out, they said, this only happens once every 90 day in every 90 years, however, the Estopa would have to happen every year that you have somebody who’s 72. Yeah. Yeah. So I think you’re right about it being, we bring in fresh blood every 90 years.
Stephen: and then this whole story could have been retold redone with possession and demons and the same basic thing. This is very. Not innocent, but it’s that veil of innocence over top of the evil. Yeah. And it’s, it makes it way more disturbing. Than if it was otherwise, it’s the same thing of putting kids in horror movies. Which big trend, people love to do that. And then it’s because evil children are creepy Good. Yeah. The Allman, we had that clear back in the day.
Rhys: Yeah. There’s another cut to being outside the next day and there’s youth folding linens, but they’re actually twisting them up like ropes and I’m not really sure.
Why? I don’t know that they ever actually do explain why, and maybe they do. And I just missed it might play some parts somewhere,
Stephen: the only thing I could think of is it, there’s always something happening. That’s just a little off little disturbing, not quite normal, know? not quite normal. Yeah. So he might have just said, yeah, no, it’s not fold him.
Let’s twist him. Twist them up.
Rhys: Yeah. Yeah. Children are running, playing, and there’s a group of adults doing what looks like some kind of dancer yoga thing in a group while there’s this one red haired girl, Maya, she’s standing apart, looking on the camera, pulls back and we see it’s Danny. Who’s standing there taking all of this in and behind.
All of this is this single acapella vocalist singing very reminiscent of the opening scene with the dream music, that got cut short by the phone call. It cuts to a large ornately shaped table. That’s being prepared. The table’s actually in the shape of a room called op Apollo. Which stands for the letter O and symbolically, it stands for heritage or possession and not like Demonn possession, like things that you own.
Mark makes fun of some girls who are walking backwards, picking up, picking flowers, and he’s like those girls walk funny. Someone should tell those girls, they walk funny. It’s actually a Swedish tradition and it’s a legitimate tradition where you walk backwards and you pick a wild flower and you need to collect seven of them and they have to all be different flowers.
You put them under your pillow and the dreams will tell you who your husband will be in the future. Yeah.
Stephen: Interesting. Okay. Yeah, I thought it was just another disturbing thing in the movie.
Rhys: no, that’s an actual Swedish custom. If you find it disturbing, take it up with the Swedes. I think
Stephen: just taking with all the other things nothing happens normal.
And I think that’s what we consider normal let me rephrase that. What we would right. In our
Rhys: culture. He does this really cool thing because if you’ve ever been found yourself in another culture, there are times where you will feel unsettled, or uncomfortable with things that are going on, that everyone else finds completely normal.
And he does a great job of imparting that feeling on you while you’re watching this. Yes. Now this culture’s a way more radical culture than I’ve ever found myself in, but still it’s that same kind of identifiable feeling that you can be like. Yeah. I’ve, I was in a foreign country once I of felt that there cuz it wasn’t my culture, that kind of deal.
Stephen: And again, that’s the whole idea. The horror for the season culture clash. Yeah.
Rhys: Yep. Everyone’s standing at this table and Christian kind of under his breath asks PE how long are they gonna stand? And PE gives the perfect answer. He is like until it’s right
Stephen: sit. That’s a Winnie. The poo answer.
Rhys: It is very Zen. Danny shows up with flowers. She picked for Christian and gives them to him and they kiss each other on the cheek. And it’s the first such sign of affection in the entire movie. And it might be the only one actually. Now I about it maybe there’s a bell that’s rung and torch bears from yesterday ceremony, the honored couple come from the direction of the yellow temple.
Everyone else wears whites. These guys are wearing blue. The two of them, they come and sit at the head of the table and when they sit, everybody else does, Josh asks if they’re the ones and PE confirms that they are again, Josh with this, I’ve got secret knowledge and the rest of you. Don’t and I’m not gonna tell you are they the ones and PE yes, the honored pair pick up their silverware and everyone gets to eat. Then mark is making eyes that the girl across the way who like pondered to like, look at him for half a second, the day before and Danny’s having a conversation with a girl with a baby sitting next to her, who’s explaining that the children in the commune don’t necessarily have a set of parents.
They’re raised by everyone in the commune, which We’ve heard that many times in cultures and in the past and all sorts of things, but the way it fits in with everything else as to what happens. So you gotta sometimes wonder if they even know who all the right parents are, right.
Stephen: Parents are with the ceremony and what goes on later. And I thought about that scene later in the movie, I’m like, yeah. Do we know for sure. Who’s whose mother and parent or mother, but father and all that jazz.
Rhys: So interesting. And it’s always like PE always refers to all of the guys as his brother.
And all the girls is his sister and in the scene with the tree and mark ping on the tree, the guys like he’s pissing on my father. And again, if the entire community or the parents then yeah, I suppose you might not even know who your true father really is. Yeah. Yeah. The couple are done eating and they sit in silence for a little while and then they stand up together and make this kind of singing noise and say something in Swedish in this kind of chanting, whispering duet.
The two of them do together. Then everyone stands, raises a glass. And after a couple drinks, after the honored couple drinks they drink and the scene has been pretty silent up until then. And then violin start playing at this point, this kind of ominous, pulsing music, young men in blue frogs pick up the chairs of the honored couple and carry them off almost like a litter kind of thing.
Yeah. The Americans get up and mark says, he’s gonna go take a nap. Okay. Wait. And it embrace the culture you’re in. Danny’s trying to confirm, I get
Stephen: the feeling though. He’s hoping not to take a nap. Yes, Danny’s trying to confirm what they’re gonna be doing next. And we cut to a scene of a man standing with all the others in their rock.
Rhys: He’s holding this ridiculously large
Stephen: hammer. Yeah. They’re panning over everybody and everyone’s dress light. And then they just slowly pan past this guy holding this hammer and I’m like, yeah, that’s not ominous whatsoever there.
Rhys: Yeah. Everyone is standing at the base of this cliff looking up and I’d guess to guess it’s I don’t know, 50, 60 feet.
Stephen: Oh, I was guessing 90
Rhys: could be. This is the, a stupa at the end of the shot. Now here’s the little to the little game that Esther puts in here at the end of the shot. There’s this young man holding a horn or it might be a staff. He looks back right down the barrel of the camera at us. Yeah.
And he is, got this kind of smirk on his face. And then he turns his attention back to the cliff. So this is like probab I think it’s the only time in the movie where Astra actually has a character. Break the fourth wall and be like, you’re here for this. This part of this is on you. You’re watching this blue frog men are bringing the honored pair in their chairs to the Cliff’s edge.
There’s music playing in the background. It’s a very long shot paired with the music. It’s very luxurious shot it. He takes a very long time, an elder holding a book. Josh approaches PE asking what the book is. He’s informed. It’s their scriptures. He asks if he can read it. And PE says, no, you will not be able to read the book.
The honored couple’s hands are cut and they smear their blood across two large room Carver stones. The interesting thing to me with the stones is that the ruins are in the same kind of grid pattern as the ones that were on the inside of the bathroom door. When Maya was getting herself pumped up to go out.
So apparently, like that’s almost like a paragraph kind of thing or a sign like a diamond shape sign that we have on the roads. You see it, you recognize it’s some kind of message.
Stephen: The part here that my mind, and this is probably just me. I was like, okay, if they’ve done this ceremony before, even if it’s been years, there’d be stains and stuff on that rock, but it looked pristine.
So either they’re very much cleaning it or it’s, yeah. They missed thinking of that.
Rhys: and I hadn’t really given it a whole lot of thought, but as soon as you said it, my first, my knee jerk reaction was, oh, they just wash it off after they’re
Stephen: done. Yeah. But if you don’t wash blood off right away, it will stain in and stay there and it gets harder to come out.
And if they’ve been doing this for a long time with people, it would have stains and marks and colors. Oh yeah.
Rhys: Danny is standing below she’s visibly doing breathing exercises you would do to control anxiety. So she doesn’t exactly know what’s going on, but she apparently has this feeling of what’s going on.
Stephen: Which of connects her with things. That’s her anxiety. And again I think we talked about this a bit last week she’s got all these problems and anxiety in our culture in our world, but then she gets here and things start to make sense to her, yeah. Even though it’s like not making sense to everyone else, like what the hell is going on, so you see that with her that’s it was a good choice to make that part of her character to
Rhys: show that it’s, that dune wa thing where he just naturally knows what he’s supposed to do. Even though he is not part of the culture, because he’s actually inherently part of the culture.
The old woman stands at the edge of the cliff in this really long shot. And she seems to look directly at Danny. There’s actually theories out there that the woman looks like Danny, because she’s actually, Danny is her replacement, but Danny is like her, the younger version of her coming in as she is exiting.
I didn’t know that they looked necessarily that close but still it’s an interesting theory. Yeah. And again, that’s one of the things this movie does. It’s one of the few movies that leaves open a lot of interpretation to a whole lot of things that you could theorize on.
Yeah. At the last second, Danny seems to realize what’s about to happen and she grabs Christian’s wrist just before.
The old lady flings herself off the edge.
Stephen: Swan, just belly Flo Swan
Rhys: dive like . Yes. Here’s the second trait of Astras films, this slow motion bounce off of the table. Rock at the base of the cliff with a graphically crushed
Stephen: skull. Oh yeah. That was Bruce and watching it happen was, and yeah. And now I’m like, that’s crazy.
The music changed and now you’re fully immersed. You’re like, yep. Now we’re like screwed up here. This is not
Rhys: right. Yes. It might have been surreal before, but we’re in a horror movie now. He’s not afraid to, or you could even say he embraces showing the audience extreme, extremely gory materials like this birds fly right after the scene.
There’s the soul taking off. Yep. And the sounds mute and he gets this Iris focus on Danny’s face. So Danny’s face is in focus and radiating out from that. Everything is getting soft and fuzzy. If you’ve ever passed out, it’s that kind of thing where like the sounds muted and you’re getting this kind of tunnel vision kind of thing.
There’s a shot of Simon and Connie freaking out and Ingres trying to calm them down. Even they’re freak out is muted. You can’t really hear them as loud as they’re obviously are trying to be. And there’s a woman from the community who looks back like, what’s their problem. She’s like confused.
Why are these people upset? I don’t get
Stephen: it. And this is our culture clash in front. Yep. But I made the note. I’m like, okay, this is very disturbing. They’re visibly upset. I’m sure everyone watching. It feels that way, but is it wrong? You could definitely argue that, no, it’s not.
This is their religion, their life, their culture. None of them see this as wrong. They’re doing it. Acceptingly and voluntarily. This is how they’ve always lived just applying our culture, pre cultural preferences on them, doesn’t make them wrong necessarily. In this context the in incoming kids are wrong by freaking out it’s their religious ceremony.
So it, yeah, I’m not saying I condo it. I’m just saying you can argue that it’s not necessarily wrong, but that’s where it fits so well with American culture. Sure. It’s horror.
Rhys: Yeah. Just before the end of this sequence, there’s a real lovely closeup of the woman’s destroyed head. Yeah. Lovely.
Yeah. Danny is watching Simon and Connie as Christian and Josh are figuring out that probably means the guy’s gonna jump next. Yeah. And Danny looks up to see the man approach the edge and watch him take the leap Simon’s on the ground and telling him not to jump, but instead of diving, like the woman does.
He just steps off.
Stephen: Yeah. I’m like, oh my God, that’s the wrong thing to do if you’re, that’s not gonna be good.
Rhys: Yes. Sound returns. He
Stephen: needed to do that to show us what’s coming next. Sound returns in full as the guy flies through the air and he survives the fall, but his legs are destroyed. Yeah. And as he’s suffering, as he’s wailing in pain, the community members begin to wail in sympathetic suffering.
Rhys: They’re at least psychically experiencing what he’s experiencing and they are all responding as if it had been them who fell and just broke both of their legs in multiple places. The leader looks back at the man with the big hammer and we find out what the Hammer’s for. Yep. So amidst the whaling of the community members.
The hammers delivered the hammer delivers a blow to the man’s head. By not just one member, but a second blow from a woman and a third blow from another woman. Perhaps these women, maybe these were his daughters. Yeah. Really say they don’t explain why it’s these two women, maybe they’re women who really didn’t like the guy for some,
again, as this happens, the sound goes away. And as soon as the third blow is delivered, we hear Simon telling the crowd how fucked the whole situation is. And he and Connie start to wait, make their way through the crowd.
Stephen: Right now. Here’s the other thing with this scene that I was thinking about, I’m like, okay, there’s two people that are 72.
Is there always two people? Or they have more sometimes because based on what’s coming later, they very well could be controlling their community. And there’s always only gonna be two people every year. They everybody’s timed out, spaced out and. 72 is 18 years before the 90th anniversary and isn’t Danny 18.
So it’s like kids, some kids being born in the world right now, when this is happening, are the ones that are going to be coming back in, in the 90 time. Or, you know what I’m saying? Those yeah. Get all those times to mesh up. It’s hard to say for sure, because there’s a lot of questions on it, but I’m just like, yeah, that, that seems to all work out.
Really. I would
Rhys: not be surprised if there’s like a whole numerology like chart that he had. That he followed that we aren’t necessarily pervy to. We don’t know what it is. But it’s there and you can infer it as the movie
Stephen: goes on. Yeah.
Rhys: Definitely. It turns out the leader of the ceremony was grandmother SIV.
And she is this big player throughout the community in general. She attempts to explain that this was a great joy for those two because they’d reached the end of their life cycle. And as she finishes her speech, she looks right at Danny like eye contact between the two of them. Yep. It turns out that historians have debunked the mythology of the Swedes practicing at as stupa.
The stories came about a long time ago from Iceland who considered the Swedes bar heat hens. Christianity came to Iceland first and took much longer to take root in Sweden. And so the Iceland. Culture are the ones who came up with this whole concept of add stupa and were like the Swedes practice.
This, those are our variants and from the mainland. So it doesn’t really look like historically this was anything that was actually practiced of having your dead throw themselves off cliffs, but it certainly is something that has always been attributed to that’s interesting
Stephen: ancient Swedish culture, that little bit of fact, there that’s a culture clash too.
One culture spreading the lies and rumors about the other, right? The scene cuts to everyone leaving the at stupa and Danny’s saying she just really needs to not be there right now. And she’s wandering off and Christian tells her just take some time to, for yourself because you can almost see the gears in Christian’s head.
Rhys: This was very dynamic. I now have something to write my thesis about. Yes. Like he is focused on that and she just like. Goes off. He jogs off to take, catch up with Josh. Who’s been working on his dissertation before they even arrived. But Danny just walks off to an isolated spot and kind of curls up into a ball sobbing.
And she takes this deep breath and there’s this cut before she even like finishes and Christian walks in on Josh, who’s busy at his laptop capturing his fresh feelings about this thing. And he’s Hey, are you okay? And then Christian just launches into this thing about, I think I’m gonna do my thesis on this community too.
And Josh is just that’s a load of crap and it’s lazy and it’s unprofessional and unethical and they get into it. And Christian’s basically like I’m doing it whether you help me or not. I don’t care.
Stephen: Yeah. So he turns out to be a Dick all around
Rhys: yeah. It’s pretty much everybody. It’s not just Danny.
Yeah. And he gets outside and mark is like, dude, of all the things to let me sleep through. It’s wow, this guy, they were gonna make somebody like more stereotypical, late teen American boy kind of thing. I dunno, that could have done it. All he had do is gun. Yeah. Christian looks over and sees a small group working on what looks like a down pine tree.
And one of them happens to have long red hair. It’s Maya. She’s always there in the background for Christian. Yeah. Now we cut to Josh and he’s making his case to PE who informs him, that he doubts the elders will prove anything being written down. Josh is I’ll do everything as an alias problem solved and then P points out.
You can’t actually have. Pure review, if everything’s alias, how can anybody review what you’ve said? Because they can’t actually go and experience the themselves. And he said, he’d already talked to Christian about this. And Josh is puzzled because apparently PE said he hadn’t spoken to Christian. So it catches PE in a lie here.
And that little bit right there makes it sound like PE was telling everybody what they needed to hear to get them to come to this,
Stephen: which is what you always picked up on every time you talked to Danny every
Rhys: day. Yeah. Yep. PE rele and he says, I’ll ask the elders about it. And it might have just been out of frustration at the fact that he’d screwed up his lie really.
Rhys: Danny’s in the bunk house. She’s packing her bag. PE comes in and she’s saying she needs to go. And he apologies for her even having seen the, a stupa. She says, I don’t know why I’m here PE and he rapidly crosses the room and asks her to sit with him. She relents, and she’s trying to fend off a panic attacks.
She’s I’m not even an anthropologist. And he says he was most excited for her to come and he tries to give her some homeopathic plant based huffing type thing. She’s not interested. He says, he knows what she’s going through. And she’s I don’t even know what I’m going through. And she’s that’s not it.
And he said he lost his parents. They were burned up in a fire, which is an interesting thing to throw in here. Seeing how the film ends, says he, and you know the temple also, I thought about this afterwards. I’ll mention it now. All the buildings they live in and work in look well used old constructed temple with the yellow and stuff looks shiny, brand new and brands making new.
Stephen: Yeah. So that’s significant also. Yeah. In there again, but it’s not brought out in a very strong way. There’s a lot of subtlety that you don’t pick up on, which I love. I love the movies that make you have to pay attention and think, yeah. He says he never felt lost because the community rose up to raise him as his family.
Rhys: And it’s of a soft sell that he’s giving her right now. He’s you know, look, this is great. He says she deserves better. And she says she has Christian and PE just comes right out and says, he’s really not good for you. And then he says, does this, does he feel like home to you? And by this point they’re actually holding hands.
The two of them. And then you cut from this lovely tender moment to a scene of two mutilated heads of the honored couple, as they’re being slid out over an open fire pit and the community stands around them reverently as their bodies are cremated. Yeah.
Stephen: Oh my gosh. First of all, that’s not gonna smell great in that little community, but I’m like that fire can’t be hot enough to get rid of bones and stuff.
Rhys: They don’t actually clean it up until the next day. So apparently it’s a slow roast.
Stephen: There’s hints of what they do with it though.
Rhys: Danny is now sitting in the grass alone. We cut from that scene to her sitting in the grass alone and Christian walks up to her, but he doesn’t sit next to her.
He just asks if she’s okay. She asks if he’s okay with what he saw and he starts to justify it as a cultural difference. And she seems a little bit of gas at the concept, or even the fact that he’s seeing it that way. Yeah.
Stephen: But he’s chain he’s making his mind up too, cuz he wants to write about it.
So yeah. He’s justifying it. Yeah. You can’t trust what he’s
Rhys: saying. Yeah. We catch to the bunkhouse at night. Josh and Christian, obviously aren’t speaking to each other. Danny asks Josh, if he has a sleeping pill, which he does. Yeah. I got medication there’s drugs everywhere. She ends up laying down.
And then she wakes up in the middle of the night and she sees people sneaking out and she like follows them and it’s dark out, which automatically lets us know that something’s up. Cuz it doesn’t really get dark. A car comes up the driveway and Christian, mark and PE are in it and she’s yelling for them to stop.
She opens your mouth for them to. Mark like looks back and he like, looks happy that they’re leaving her behind. She opens her mouth to yell at them and this black smoke rolls out of her mouth instead. Not unlike, I don’t know, car exhausts, if you force it down your lungs with a tube. And then the shot is done in slow motion and it’s interspersed with quick shots.
Which again, knowing me, I’ve gotta slow ’em down and see what everything is. And there’s shots of the honored couple’s heads being destroyed shots of Terry and her mother and Terry with the host taped to her mouth and her mother and father’s bodies lying next to the ASPO table rock. There’s a shot of the destroyed heads reversing back together.
Yeah. Which was kinda weird. And then we see her and she’s actually sleeping in the bunkhouse. So this is all going on in her head. This is a dream PTSD dream across the way we see Maya as holding a room, cover, carved stick. She had been carving it earlier. She crosses over and slides it under Christian’s bed.
Josh is awake and sees the whole thing happen the next day. It’s late in the morning and someone’s making beds. You can see if you pay attention. Danny is actually still asleep in her bunk, but the rest of the place is empty. Outside. Members of the community are collecting the Asher ashes from the honored couple and spreading them on a downed dead tree.
It’s a big tree it’s dead. It’s been dead for a while and it’s just laying there. There’s a small group singing and chanting around a wooden saw horse, which they smash with axes as the. Hits this crescendo again, not explained, but as you point out, Steve, a very nice, disturbing thing to just throw in the background.
here’s a random acts of violence
Stephen: they’re practicing to see who gets to hold the hammer next time.
Rhys: Yeah. PEs, trimming, herbs, Josh and mark headed that way. And Josh is asking about the paper and PE tells him the odor said, it’s okay. As long as he keeps everything anonymous and shares with Christian, while they’re talking, mark says he has to take a leak and he wanders off, right?
Josh asks about this carved piece of wood that Maya put under Christian’s bed. And he hears that it’s got a love room to cast a love spell. Christian comes to hear the good news that they get to do the paper. And PE informs him that his sister Maya has taken a liking to Christian and is of legal consent age in the community to have sex.
Just throwing this out here for you, Christian Myster likes you. And she’s old enough to bang
Stephen: full CLO disclosure. Yeah.
Rhys: Christian doesn’t really seem, he doesn’t really seem to take that in a great way. He’s not oh, awesome. Or I’m honored or anything like that. He kinda like brushes it
Stephen: aside. he brings back also when they were, the friends were talking at the beginning whichever one of ’em told Christian, it’s you need to get a girlfriend that actually likes to have sex, so just another little wedge between him and Danny,
Rhys: PE at one point in time says to Christian, think of all the Swedish girls you can impregnate, right? Yeah.
Stephen: No, that’s yeah, that, that’s a weird way of putting it, but it fits the rest. Yeah. It’s I hadn’t realize that one. Yeah,
Rhys: right around then we hear some yelling and Swedish and it is subed for us.
They’re yelling at mark because he’s peeing behind the tree with the ashes on it. It’s a sacred tree. The guy who’s screaming is these are our ancestors. You’re pissing on my people. And the guy is mad. He is P is trying to explain that it was an ancestral tree and all mark can say is, I didn’t know.
So there’s this long slow build that like drives for all of the characters, right? Like the Christian and Danny relationship. It wasn’t great at the start, but as the movie progresses, more things just keep jabbing them apart. Christians wandering aimlessly and now he’s becoming more and more focused as the thing goes on.
Josh is being, becoming more obsessed with writing this thesis paper. And mark is constantly being driven to the point of feeling uncomfortable. Like he’s super comfortable king of the hill when he is in the states. But as soon as they’re in the woods, he’s worried about ticks and bugs. And now he’s made this giant Swedish enemy who like he’s constantly worried is looking at him and that girl, did she give in the eye or didn’t she, he doesn’t know.
So he actually is becoming more and he’s fall apart. Basically this movie goes on. Yeah,
Stephen: it, okay. So it’s interesting you say that because thinking about it we don’t see it really yet, but Danny has the exact opposite character arc it’s like there again, showing the cultural differences and what happens in the different cultures for depending on who you
Yeah. She’s very unsettled at the start and by the end she seems to embrace her new role. So yeah. Yeah. It’s back. It’s, she’s going in reverse of everyone else. We cut to Kani, she’s walking purposely across the yard. She’s headed to the bunk house. She’s in there grabbing her stuff.
One of the elders comes along, calls her name and she comes out quickly ready to go. Like her packs on her bag, ready to go. He informs her that Simon left for the train station already. And once the truck gets back, they’ll pick her up and take her so she can meet him there. And she is not having this.
She has a million questions for the guy and he has an answer, an excuse for every single problem she raises about this.
Stephen: And the only thing I’m as a movie watcher going. Yeah. Okay. He left her, oh God, that’s not good at all. We’re watching a horror movie. That’s never a good thing.
Rhys: Yeah. Danny sees the whole exchange.
Connie says it’s bullshit and she storms off. Danny goes to tell Christian about it, but he’s in the middle of interviewing one of the members about how worker roles are assigned in yada anthropology. Crap. He seems to be slightly concerned about Simon’s MIS disappearance for just a second or two.
And then he goes on to ask the guy about incest in the small, in this small community. Like just completely skips right over her concerns.
Stephen: Yeah. Which he’s done the whole movie.
Rhys: Yeah. Now the guy, interestingly enough, his answer again, just a background conversation, cuz we’re focused on Danny in the scene, but the guy says that the elders determine who gets to hook up.
And they actually chart this stuff and they keep really close track and it’s almost like a farm breeding campaign. Yeah. You’re picking the best stock and things like
Stephen: that, which again goes back to the whole bringing the outsiders in and the 90 year cycle and they’re 1872.
Yeah. Yeah. There’s all these little pieces fit together in ways you don’t think about right away.
Rhys: And in the background, we can see the guy who’s angry at mark is still being consoled by people. He’s still upset by this thing that happened. Danny’s wandering past the cooking hall and here’s where, I mean everything up till now, you could say, like I said, was a soft sell indoctrination.
This is where the hard sell comes in. Oh yeah. Danny’s walking past the cooking hall. And one of the sisters in a crazy friendly manner invites her in to help. And then she comes in and asks a sister if she’d seen Simon anywhere. And she holds to that same line that, oh, he went to the station ahead of the time when Danny’s in there.
The rest of the crew is so nice, super complimentary. She starts to feel good about hanging out with them. They give her own little apron. And she’s like jumps right in and she’s having a good time. And what, so what are we making? Oh, we’re making meat. That’s just, all they say is meat.
Stephen: I’m like, yeah. That’s not a good answer. it’s the
Rhys: language barrier, Steve. Oh,
Stephen: okay. Not to mention that cinematography thing of Simon’s missing, we’re making meat, Simon’s missing, we’re making meat. And come on, Texas chain saw massacre going on here.
Rhys: Then at the scene closes with Maya walking past with a special pie, which she sets on the counter as ominous music starts to play.
Josh is, music has
Stephen: changed. The innocent scene does not have the nice music
Rhys: anymore. Josh is with one of the elders in this black painted room, looking at the scriptures. This is where they keep the scriptures. You can see there’s just rows and rows of bookshelves on the sides. Just jam packed with these things.
Stephen: this scene right here, Just when it was going on, I’m like really with all the vague answers, they’re given all the things and, but they’re showing like these sacred scriptures and the most deepest parts of it, at least he’s, they’re telling him about it. Not sure what they’re saying is true, but I’m like, they’re why would you do that?
Oh God, he’s not leaving. . That was what went through my head. It doesn’t matter. And what Pella comes up later to tell the two of them about their studies is the same thing. It’s oh man, it doesn’t matter because they’re not leaving I’m yeah. It starts really become obvious at this point with all this type of stuff going on, the stories
Rhys: that they weave are so intricate and almost ridiculous.
And you’re like, that would never stand up if you wait a day or two and think about that wouldn’t make any sense, but it doesn’t matter cuz you don’t get a day or
Stephen: two. But they’re also getting drugs with everything they eat and drink. So who knows how screwed up their minds are.
They don’t, they always show Danny with cinematography tricks, how she’s feeling, but they don’t do that with anyone else. That’s really a focus on her. So yeah, but I’m like, oh man, if they’re telling you the secrets to an outsider, it doesn’t matter. Then start running. You’re trouble, man.
Rhys: He’s looking at the scriptures. And he notices that the back have blank pages and it turns out the scriptures are constantly being added to, and Josh asks, who decides what gets added. And it turns out that Ruben, the disfigured faced boy, we glimpsed earlier is the one who comes up with it. Ruben being disabled is, as they say, unclouded by normal cognition, making him open to the source.
He draws pictures and the odors interpret these into new scriptures. It turns out that Ruben, like all of the Oracles are products of specifically planned in breeding to keep them unclouded. So they’re specifically in breeding to make these Oracles basically. And that’s a
Stephen: common thing. The ones that aren’t the norm in society are closer to God or the messengers that’s a pretty common type of thing, but how they get ’em that’s very ominous
Rhys: here it is.
And then Josh, of course, like almost the end of every scene, Josh could just be saying, can I take a picture? the guy’s what? No, can’t
Stephen: take a picture. I’ll tell you everything, but don’t take APIC but actually he probably could let him cuz it’s not gonna matter. The interesting thing is that when he says that we’ve rounded a corner.
Rhys: And you can tell we’ve rounded this corner because it cuts from there to Danny in the kitchen, pulling a pie from the oven and she just stops and looks up. Like she heard something. But there’s nothing like intuitively she knows something is now changed. Yeah.
Stephen: Yeah. Very true.
Rhys: Yep. Mark is walking in front of the yellow temple and he stops and looks up again.
We don’t know why, but then he spots a girl who made eyes at him earlier and he waves at her and then he is convinced she’s walking away and he turns away. So he doesn’t see her turn and look back at him just as the call for comes up
four Americans. And you have four visitors sitting at the, a Apollo table instead of six. And they’re waiting
Stephen: Sorry. The table layout changes every time we see it’s a different it was interwoven triangles. It was just a big. L like it changes every single time. We’re there the rooms.
Yeah. It’s it’s progressing.
Rhys: Yeah. That’d be really interesting if you like it spelled something out. Yeah,
Stephen: that would, yeah. I didn’t think of that, but might in,
Rhys: yeah, they’re waiting for the food to be delivered. They all have glasses of lemonade in front of them, but if you look Christian’s lemonade is a little more pink than everybody else’s yeah.
They have this nice shot of it going down the table. If yellow, pink yellow. It’s not drastically pink, but it’s definitely got a little bit of red tint to it. Yeah. Yeah. In the background, just outta focus, you can see that Maya is on the other side watching him. It’s a soft focus, so the camera never points her out.
But if you’re looking at her, you can tell she’s looking at him the whole time pies are delivered. And here’s where we see that everything is falling apart amongst these group right here at this dinner. Danny asks, if anyone’s seen Connie and the guy sitting next to them says, oh, he drove her to the train station.
I can assure you. This is true. It’s it was awkward lie ever. It doesn’t hold true for Danny, but Christian’s blowing her off completely. She says that she can see him just leaving her there. And he is what’d you say? And the guy who was upset at mark is sitting across the table, glaring at mark
Josh asked Christian about what he’s learned and Christian gets mad at him for wanting to collaborate now. Yeah. So you have the four friends in one frame and there’s so much tension between them. None of them, they might as well be isolated. They might as well not be sitting next to anybody, which is something that cults, do they get you separate and then move in?
Christian decides he’s not even waiting to eat. Let’s take a bite outta his pie. And the camera zooms in, as he pulls a hair out of his mouth, after he takes a bite, mark makes a big deal out of it saying it’s a pub, both Christian and Danny look down at Maya as the camera pushes focus. Both times. He finishes the scene out by taking a swig of his menstrual fluid lace beverage.
Stephen: This is very squirmy going squirmy in your seat, watching
Rhys: Josh on the other hands, looking over his notes, mark stewing over the brother who wants him dead. And the girl he’s been obsessing over comes over and asks him if he’ll come, she will show him. She says, he says yes and repeats it. I’ll be back.
She’s going to show me. Josh never even looks up. We get a hard cut of the darkened bunkhouse, where Josh is in the exact position he was earlier. Danny asked him for another sleeping pill. He gives it to her and then he lays down. But you note, he has his shoes on
when the rest of the bunkhouse is quiet. He sneaks out into the Twilight, midnight of the Midsummer and heads to the holy place with the scriptures. He heads in walks to where the scriptures are being kept with his phone and starts to take pictures of the pages, this a mirror on the back wall. And you can see the door to the structures open, and this figure comes in the reflection.
He sees it too, and turns around upset because he’s convinced it’s mark and Mark’s followed in there and he is worried that mark blow is cover. The first thing I thought when I saw it was, oh my God, it’s Michael Myers. Cause it kinda looks like him, right? Speaking of a hair disheveled. Yeah. Yeah. The enlightened one is actually sleeping on a cot by the door and we notice that mark looks.
For starters, he’s not wearing any pants. Yeah. Which is a strange thing. Just walking around full Monty. Josh is contemplating this uncanny valley he’s looking at, and then someone hits him from behind with the ASPA hammer. We get a close up of mark and we see, it’s not really mark. It’s just Mark’s face.
Yeah. That it’s been skinned and someone’s wearing it. Yeah. Before disturbing all the time. yes. Yes. And now we go back to that. What game are they playing? The skinned fool. Yeah.
Stephen: And he was the fool the whole time.
Rhys: Yes. You would think that the creepy violin music would’ve let Josh know that something was up, but Josh missed that.
Missed that cue.
Stephen: he missed those pages in the
Rhys: script. Yes. And now it’s just Danny Christian and P at breakfast. And Danny asks, if they think mark is still off with the girl and pillows oh yeah, probably. Don’t ask too much about mark. She asks about Josh and Christian blows it off since he’s pissed off at Josh right now.
Then one of the elders rises up and says, the 19th book of the Rudy Rayor is missing. Those are the scriptures. He says he doesn’t wanna point fingers, but he is asking for whoever took it to please return it as the couple. Now it’s just a couple take their dishes up to be washed the odor approaches them.
And Christian basically just starts off throwing Josh under the bus. He’s a horrible person. I had nothing to do with it. I don’t want anything to do with it. And the guy’s Mark’s missing too. He is mark wouldn’t have anything to do with that. This is all just Josh. Josh’s a horrible
And them saying it’s a 19th book, is that every time they do this ceremony, it’s a new book. So that would make it like 1,710 years or something. Something like that. Yeah.
Rhys: That would be my guess is that it’s an every 90 years time. So they’re working on the 20th time. Yes. Oh yeah.
Pella goes off to look for the missing income compatriots. Danny is gonna go hang with the women and grandmother. SIV wants to see Christian in her house. He checks with Danny to see if she’s okay before heading off. Not really cuz he wants to check with Danny mostly cuz he wants an excuse to not have to go talk to the very severe grandmother’s
Now we cut to this mortar and pestle they’re grinding up plants. These plants get dumped into a big glass bowl, stirred violently. I mean it’s a very violent stir with water and then it’s labeled into cups. The cups are handed out to women in dresses with flower crowns on their heads. Danny is in this line.
She’s decked out with the rest of ’em. She’s wearing the white dress. She’s got the flower crown. She gets a glass she’s with her friend from the dining hall and there’s this whole ceremony to drinking it. The lady’s gonna hand you this glass look her in the eye when you take the glass. Yeah. And
Stephen: it’s, and then look step for wise.
Yes. Look going on.
Rhys: Once she does and she drinks it, her friend hugs her tightly and she’s uhoh here we go. Yeah. sorry. Yeah no, it’s. It’s it does have this whole kind of roller coaster ride field to it. Clear up until this point. We’ve just been going up and now it feels yep.
We’re on the. We’re moving
Stephen: and Danny fits right in she’s, this is her, you can tell this is her place. This is her thing. Her issues are lessening and she seems happier. And so yeah.
Rhys: We catch all of the women in concentric circles are on the may pole and the bands off to one side and the rest of the community is sitting on the ground watching.
Stephen: So why is it? The women dancing are getting tired and falling through this, but the band plays forever. Man. Those people don’t stop.
Rhys: They’re stamina. They’re musicians. Yeah. Any excuse to get in front of a group. Hey man. They like us. They’re digging it going.
The drags in the tears are starting to kick in is Danny’s feet start to grow grass again. She’s taking root in the community this way. Yeah. Yeah. And
Stephen: from here on out this movie I feel Bob would love this movie.
Rhys: I don’t know, but he definitely should. If you haven’t seen this, Bob, you should definitely watch it.
You would enjoy this. Yeah. Watch heredity too. You’re gonna love Astor’s work. Astra keeps dropping in these hallucinogenic effects throughout the movie to the point where you’ve not even aware they’re going off anymore. Which is up until the end when he very, I don’t wanna say unconsciously, you might not realize it, but he stops all of the hallucinogenic effects by the end.
So what’s happening at the end is concrete. Everything else, you gotta sit there and go, is it the drugs or what? There’s this story told before the dance starts and the dance is an analogy for when the dark one lured the youth into the grass and made them dance. So they couldn’t stop until they died. So in defiance of them, they will dance until they fall. The last one standing becomes the may queen. They all bow except Danny who doesn’t know she’s supposed to bow making her stand out from all the rest and then the dance starts.
And she really, like you said, she seems to really be enjoying it. We cut from that crazy cacophony to the silence of a mural painted on the wall. And in the center frame of this mural is a bear roaring in the middle of a bunch of flames, Christian sitting in a chair before it just studying it, looking at that painting SIV opens the door and invites him in inside.
There’s tons of pictures painted on the walls. Two chairs, Christian sits in one and SIV in the other. He is obviously uncomfortable and he starts by saying he has no idea where Josh is.
Stephen: she cuts him off, man. It’s Bart Simpson
Rhys: yeah. She cuts him off and asks how he feels about Maya. He’s confused and SIV tells him that he’s been approved to mate with her, and he’s an astrological match.
He leaves the building and looks across the way at the dance going on. So we never really get to hear what his answer to this is, but not unlike when PE brought it up, he seems to be running away from it a little bit. Yeah. Danny is still in it and she’s having a ball. They stop the music in some fall and are pulled out.
Then the dance starts again, Christian walks by and sits on the ground to watch. And Maya ends up following, falling and stumbles PA over past the Watchers. Danny’s in the final weight and Christian won’t even look at her. One of the girls brings him a glass with this special drink. He asked what it does and she doesn’t really lie.
She is it’s good. It’ll make you see things clearly. It’ll give you energy. She fails to mention that it’ll give you a really bad trip too, if you’re in a bad head space.
Stephen: I think the whole thing is a bad trip, but
Rhys: yeah. He keeps looking down at Maya and he is sitting next to PE and then he drinks it.
Danny’s still in it. She seems to be working at it, but still having fun. And cinematographically, everything starts to blend together. Eventually with the exhaustion and the drugs, she finds herself able to speak Swedish, all of a.
She’s contemplating this, the final two competitors run into each other and fall over making Danny the winner. She is the may queen,
Stephen: which again, brings it really strongly to the she’s home. She’s in a rightful place. And it, I also thought it could be interpreted as when they go out. They’re finding the people, the lost souls or something that should have been in the community.
Oh. Or even when they die and their souls go elsewhere. The 18 year thing they’re dying as others are being born and their souls are entering them so 18 years ago, reincarnation kind of thing, something like that. Yeah. Again, interpretation, if you think of what the possibilities
Rhys: are all the dancers and the youth crowd around here newly crowned and there’s a photograph taken there’s one flower in her crown that is sometimes referred to as her heart flower.
because it pulses throughout the entire next section of the film with her heartbeat. And it’s really subtle. Yeah. So like she’s just finished dancing and so her heart rate’s up. And so this flower is just like going like this really fast later on. It’s much more subdued as it slows down. Like it follows her breathing and stuff.
It’s this cool little subtle thing that he throws in there. The entire community is crowded around Danny and Christian is standing by himself in front of the maple. Now the entire community walks past her and congratulates her. And it’s noted somewhere that one of the towns, folk who congratulates her is played by the actress who played Terry.
And so she sees her sister basically come up and congratulate her. And then she sees her father and her mother actually seems a little annoyed when she goes past. And then PE comes up and gives her like a real kiss. Like I’m not being Koy. I’m not being flirtatious. We’re gonna kiss now.
Stephen: Yeah. Cause he doesn’t and sisters. Yeah.
Rhys: Hey, somebody’s gotta make an,
Stephen: that should be a t-shirt. Somebody needs to make an article. If we ever meet the director, we’ll give him a t-shirt. There you
Rhys: go. Yeah. Some guys bring out a litter and they carry her off while singing during this parade is one of the famous, hidden Terry shots.
Astor has hidden pictures of Terry with the tube in her face, throughout the movie. And this is one where it’s in the trees. In the background, the trees are overlaid. You really have to know it’s there or know to look for it or you won’t see it at all, but it’s there very SubT. They take her to a decorated ornate table with a feast.
She sits at the head of the table and everyone else is standing there watching her. And when she sits face it just like with the honored couple. Yeah. Everything hinges on when she wants to do it. She’s sitting in this plant themed thrown and the vines and flowers are Alling around. As she’s sitting down, Christian awkwardly takes a seat at the table.
He’s obviously not having as good of a trip because he looks like he’s just about to fill his pants. Yeah. When Danny picks up her silverware, everyone starts to eat and everyone else, everyone, except for Christian, who’s really not going to eat. Cuz he doesn’t really feel like eating. They try and get Danny to eat an entire pickled herring tail first.
Apparently it’s your tradition. If you can get it down, it’s like super blessings for this next season, which is can.
Stephen: This is so weird because that seems so normal after all the other stuff. And they’re very casual about it. They’re laughing. So it’s almost like it, they, it really is just a tongue in cheek, old tradition that we just do.
Whereas all this other disturbing stuff is very serious throughout the whole movie.
Rhys: This reminds me of a wedding reception, if you’re marrying into kind of an ethnic culture. Yeah, absolutely. Where you go to the reception and they they pull out all the various traditions, whatever culture.
Yeah. And they you’re doing the chicken dance and that kind of thing. She gives it a shot kudos on her for trying. But she can’t do it. She spits it out. There’s this old man sitting next to Christian and Christian timidly asks what’s going on. And the guy seems annoyed and claps his hand in Christian’s face.
Which sounds to us, like almost like an explosion. Yeah. And Christian flinch is like a beat dog.
Stephen: He’s really out of it too. Yeah. I He’s got the wide eyes and the vacant stare and yeah,
Rhys: everyone raises a glass and cheers the may queen and they inform her that she’s in the family. Now, Christian looks across the table and sees Maya who gets up and gives him this whole kind of come hitter look and Danny notes.
It Pella is sketching her in may queen outfit and SIV says she has to go and bless the crops. She asks if Christian can come with her and SIV says, nay, the may queen must ride alone. They give her a torch and she gets into a coach, which is pulled by several Swedish girls. And off they go, I want a coach pulled by Swedish girl.
Stephen: That sounds really bad. it does.
Rhys: When she’s out of sight, a girl with a basket of flower pets makes a trail that leads right to Christian dandy. In the meantime, is there ceremoniously, blessing the crops by burying a pile of seeds with a hunk of meat and an egg, and they give her a torch and she, and another girl do this dance and sing a song, which she seems to magically already know.
Stephen: Yeah. So that, that gave me thinking again, was she always really a part of this community? That’s why she had problems in the outside world, cuz she was in the wrong place, wrong culture. And she had to come home. She was drawn
Rhys: home. I don’t know. I have on occasions in my youth I would maybe drink a little too much.
And I, at one point in time was sitting with a friend of mine who spoke Italian and I spoke French and we had both had far too much to drink and we held an entire conversation between the two of us. In the other foreign languages. And it seemed to us that we understood exactly what the other guy was saying.
So I can almost relate to this weird thing where if you’re in an adult state, everything seems to make sense to you. Sure.
Stephen: Yeah. That’s true. Again, interpretation.
Rhys: Yeah. Christian in the meantime is in a frock or a robe in one of the buildings. And one of the elders opens this small iron cauldron and has him breath in the fumes for his vitality.
Now he has a new look on his face. He doesn’t look all bad, tripped out. He’s got drive on his face. And one of the other elders opens the door to let him in and inside. This is the scripture building turns out. Maya is lying on a bed of flowers, naked, surrounded by a dozen other female members of the community in all stages of life.
Naked and they’re all humming this little song.
Stephen: This becomes like one of the most disturbing sex scenes I’ve ever seen in my life. Shoot the very first movie on my list. It’s about a vapi baby. I can’t think of the name of it, but it’s got some doosies in it too. wow. One of the naked ladies takes his robe from him.
Rhys: And then the added bounces between Danny and Christian back and forth. So you’re back to Danny. She’s still blessing. Crops is Christian is awkwardly having sex with Maya. Then she reaches out, Maya reaches out for one of the other women who comes in close and sings a little song to her.
Stephen: And on Christian’s face is priceless right there.
Rhys: it freaks him out a little bit. Cause there’s this woman standing right. He manages to keep going. good on him, even though she is staring him in the eyes. Yeah.
Stephen: At least it’s his eyes. My eyes are up here.
Rhys: yeah. They start this weird call response thing. And the thing that struck me worse was that the Oracle was still in the room, lying on his cot, watching as this is going on, which has gotta be think it’s uncomfortable for Christian.
Think about that poor guy. When they get back, Danny is supposed to go to SIVs for a special blessing, but instead she heads to the scripture building. She takes off her crown and it looks like she already knows what she’s gonna see. She braces herself and looks in the keyhole and turning. She GA she looks through, she turns away she’s gasping for air.
She stumbles vomits and whales. Other girls come and get her up and move her away to the bunkhouse. And they do that whole communal grieving thing. Where she is grieving. And so they’re all going to grieve with her with the same intensity. Yeah, because they feel her pain. It cuts to a wall illustration showing the may queen surrounded by a court of six, watching a fire burn
Stephen: several times they go back up.
Rhys: Yeah. They go back to a sex scene. And in the sex scene, there’s communal cries going on with the women in the room and their cries match Danny’s cries in the other building. And they’re actually just trying to get Christian to finish up. They’re like TikTok buddy. Let’s go. Yeah.
Stephen: to the point where one light gets behind him starts pushing.
I mean talk about and he’s looking around and dude, how he’s amazing. at this point
Rhys: power of drugs. Yeah. As soon as he finishes Maya rocks back. And holds the loving in. She says she can feel it. She can feel the baby growing in her now. And he runs outta the building naked. Originally. He wasn’t supposed to be naked, but the actor actually is look so many horror movies, have women running around naked.
I think it’s only fair that we give equal time. And so the actor chose to run naked through the village. Wow.
Rhys: to him, man. Yeah. He’s just running aimlessly. He gets the garden and finds the lower half of a leg sticking outta the ground. He runs into a nearby shed and finds Simon strung up in blood Eagle style, which is a Viking way.
It means of execution where they sever the ribs backed by the spine. Like three of them. So they can pull your lungs out through the hole and string them out like wings. That’s. Yeah. So it would seem that Simon’s actually still alive. He’s got flowers where his eyes should be. And then his lungs breathe, which would have to be a hallucination, cuz your lungs don’t work that way.
They can’t breathe on their own. That’s why you have a diaphragm. But as Christian is inspecting this mess, one of the elders shows up and blows a pattern in his face he’s out. Yeah. So
Stephen: guess what? And disturbing things were happening. We’ve just found them all go figure .
Rhys: The next thing we know is that seeing I was talking about there’s this Swedish woman calling out for Christian and she manually opens his eyes, but worse looking out like we’re we are Christian.
Yeah. She seems super nice. And she informs him. You can’t speak, you can’t move. Do you understand He can’t speak. How’s he gonna tell you if he doesn’t right. She steps back to stand with the rest of the commune. And Danny now sits in a throne in a massive flower dress with a flashy flower, crown.
She doesn’t look happy. Maya looks really happy. Yeah. Maya’s standing there. Her face is all done up. Z is explaining that they will sacrifice nine people, four outsiders, four from Haga, and one chosen by the queen. Two of the four from Haga are wooden statues representing the honored couple. And two are volunteers.
Ingmar is one of them. Yeah. Ingmar has volunteered for sacrifice for the ninth. They draw numbers and pick one person from the community. And then she gets to pick between that person or Christian. Two Bjorn gets picked. He steps forward. We don’t really know him. He’s just some guy and Christian in his wheelchair since he’s paralyzed is wheeled next to him.
The camera is on Danny’s face as she glares at Christian and the camera zooms in on both of them and the flowers aren’t pulsing anymore. She is no longer under the influence of drugs. She is thinking clearly, although from the looks of her face, she’s upset.
Stephen: Yeah. We don’t actually work’s complete at this point.
Yes. She is part of that community. There’s a part too. She’s gonna be jumping off that cliff cuz she’s so she’ll be
Rhys: 72. Yeah. Yeah, they never actually say who she picks, but we do get to infer it here. It cuts Sue Connie being brought in a wheelbarrow she’s soaking wet. So apparently they drowned her.
Apparently there’s a pond in one of the scenes I missed well, hydroelectric
Stephen: sell some.
Rhys: But that’s where she was. She was drowned in a pond. The skin fool is a scarecrow that’s brought in. So they’ve basically taken mark and stuffed him into a scarecrow. And there’s an interesting shot when they’re back in New York, where he’s standing there talking to somebody and in the background on the fridge as a photograph of the scarecrow from the wizard of odds.
So again, I, as yours just basically telling you what’s gonna happen at the start of the movie, if you know how to look for it, and we get to see inside the yellow temple. And it’s really just an empty space with straw floor and straw bales place around already inside his Josh, who has his studies crumpled up and stuffed in his dead mouth and Simon.
Who’s there with his flower for his eyes. The honored one statues are next. And then out in the shed, the children of the village are taught how to properly skin a bear. I guess they just disempower him though. Cuz he is still looks mostly like a bear when they’re done with him. Yeah. They disbe him to make room and stuff, a paralyzed Christian inside of him.
Stephen: part where they’re showing him it’s passing on the knowledge of the community, it’s all normal educational accepted it just like how to string a bow and shoot it. Yep. This is how you do this. Yeah. Which again makes it very disturbing because it’s, yeah.
Rhys: And it normalizes it.
Exactly. You’re showing this from a young age, so sure. This is what happens for Ingmar and the other volunteer. They put him in there and they offered them the SAP of the U tree. And to one of them, he says, this will cause you to feel no fear. And then he puts it in his mouth and then the other one, he says, this will cause you to feel no pain.
And he puts it in his mouth. Then guys come in with torches and light the place out and then they walk out as it burns. Danny and the community look on the not funny part, there’s this part where the guy who was supposed to feel feel no pain looks over, sees that he’s on fire and starts to scream so that you will feel no pain thing is a lie.
And then Enmar is sitting next to him, sees him on fire screaming, and then he starts to scream. Cuz he’s scared, meaning that you will feel no fear is also a lie. Yeah. Everything religion tells you is a lie.
Stephen: Yeah. It’s a little subtle message.
Rhys: yeah once you’re actually where the tires meet the road the music’s uplifting.
It’s this amazing overture that’s playing in the background. As people inside start to scream the community outside again, sympathetically starts to scream and whale and almost like dances. They’re like riving around experiencing in their mind, psychically the pain of the people who are in there.
Danny’s even getting into it in this immense ridiculous flower outfit she’s wearing. And as everyone continues to wa Danny looks up defiant or triumphant, and then she smiles like a genuine smile. Yeah. And she’s home. And that’s the end of the movie.
Stephen: And there again, she had mental issues when she wasn’t out, they seemed to be gone.
So what’s the interpretation. What is it? Our culture causes those issues. Is it, she was displaced and needed to be brought home. There’s so many interpretations of it. And if I had to tell somebody what it was like, it’s like a demented children of the corn. You know the same basic idea.
Rhys: Yeah. It’s funny. You went that direction because I have, in my notes he cites all these movies that like influence him. And the one he doesn’t mention is the Wickerman, which this feels like the Wicker man, like on steroids. Yeah. The Lira Wicker. Man’s one guy who shows up supposedly he is in this position of power.
He thinks while he shows up and then in the end, it turns out he is not, and he was lured there, here you have the same thing, except nobody’s going in thinking they have power. They think they’re coming in and sharing an experience. And here they are the experience, yeah. It, yeah, it’s to me, it’s kinda like the Wicker man on steroids with a really, a whole lot of overshot light scenes, but
But again, It’s way open to interpretation. So I’m sure you can get different things out of it to com we, we have oh, sure.
Rhys: And to say that it’s like Wicker, man, I don’t, that’s not an insult. That’s not me saying, Hey, he just rigged Wickerman off. Cuz this is its very own separate thing entirely.
But it’s one of those kind of deals everything when you get reductiveness when you get into this reductive mindset, almost every movie falls apart temple or Indiana Jones Raiders lost a Indiana Jones. Was I immaterial to that movie. He makes no difference at all to the movie.
It would play out exactly the same if he’s ended or not in this you could reductively say, yeah, it’s the Wicker man. Just with the bigger cast that doesn’t take, actually take away from the actual. Telling of it is by
Stephen: itself. No, exactly. Same with saying children of the corn. It’s that religious overtones, the culture clash what’s right.
What’s wrong. That’s really the core part of the story is what’s similar there. Yeah, it sounds done in this movie that makes it so over the top. Yeah.
Rhys: With Astras films, the devils are really in the details.
Stephen: Yeah. Funny you use devil there, but okay.
Rhys: I, this is the longest review we’ve had for any movie we’ve done.
It’s a long one. We’ve been, yeah, we’ve been discussing it. I don’t know if we’re gonna do this as two things or we’re gonna make one supersize podcast with it who know I’ve thinking two. Okay. Yeah. It’s yeah. It’s just how much stuff was crammed in his film. Yeah.
Stephen: Yeah. So what’s next? What’s on the agenda next.
Rhys: We have his house. It is a British film from 2016 easily found on Netflix. Unlike Midsummer, which you have to hunt down. You can easily watch his house with just your Netflix subscription. So we’re gonna enjoy that one too.
Stephen: Yeah. Oh, good. All right. I can’t wait. I gotta watch editing still so we can talk about
All right. You’re going backwards. I wanna know how it changes the experience,
Stephen: right? Yeah. Maybe I should take something before I watch it.
Rhys: that’s always good advice.
Stephen: Yeah, especially with this movie. Yeah. I can’t imagine watching this movie high.
Rhys: Oh. Everything would be weird except all those places where they’re stoned and then you’re like, oh, that makes sense.
Stephen: yep. All man, we’ll talk to see