The only residents of young Nicholas' sea-side town are women and boys. When he sees a corpse in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?
Nicolas is a boy living on a remote island set in the future, or another planet - or is it a dream? His village consists of white-painted houses located above the sea with a volcanic rock and black sand coastline, populated by young women and boys all of a similar age to Nicolas. Whilst swimming, Nicolas makes a discovery in the ocean, which is shrugged off by his mother, who, like all the women in the town has tied-back hair, is pale and wears a simple thin beige dress. Nicolas is curious, thinks that he is being lied to and starts to explore his environment, witnessing some unsettling scenes. He then finds himself taken to a hospital-like building where he, along with the others, undergoes a series of medical procedures by the women, dressed as nurses. He is befriended by one nurse, who becomes instrumental in the film's denouement. The film is not easy to categorise; it is not only enigmatic but beautifully filmed with deeply poetic imagery. It reflects the fear of the unknown, ...
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A beautiful horror film
After watching the film I read some interviews with the writer/director Lucile Hadihalilović and she mentioned how it had taken her a long time to get funding for this film. Never have I been less surprised. Not creepy enough to be a full blown horror film and too creepy to just be a pure art film.
The film is about a young pre-pubescent boy named Nicolas who lives on a remote island with his mother, several other women and other young boys around his age. He is told he is sickly by his mother and urged to eat a really wicked looking blue creation for his "health" and eventually has to go to a hospital where he is repeatedly operated on.
I won't spoil the movie, but Hadihalilović isn't one for jump scares and Nicolas's illness and the reason for his hospital visits are made clear very early on. It all unfolds in a creepy atmospheric way so that the audience is aware of the bad things that are going on before Nicolas is, though he too learns the secret behind his illness soon enough.
The movie is very beautifully filmed with lots of stunning shots of the water and the seaside. However one thing I take issue with is how dark some of the shots were. Maybe it was the fault of the distributor for not cleaning up the shots but there are some nightime scenes where instead of being frightened I was merely confused because the screen looked pitch black.
Nevertheless the movie is very easy to follow on and the ultimate story and horror is pretty simple.
I'm not a horror fan so this was not really a movie for me, but for art fans who are looking for a slow scare, this might be for you.
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