David Gifford’s review published on Letterboxd:
I will certainly have to second to Steven Francis in saying that the movie is certainly hard to rate. There are a lot of different reasons for that which I will get into, but my overall thoughts about the movie is that I liked it. I didn't love it in all honesty, but I had a good time and will likely be picking this one up when it comes out.
Firstly the movie's technical elements are very strong. The cinematography was excellent, and moved in interesting ways. It had a lot of stylistic choices in there, where the movie felt incredibly unique and not quiet like anything else I have ever seen. I am trying to be as vague as possible here to avoid spoilers, but I could go on for a while about the different shots in the film and how well they worked in visual storytelling. Its a complete audio and visual experience, one that you should just strap in and prepare for the weird.
This movie is likely going to have an extremely low score on from audiences very similar to Hereditary, but this one is far more experimental so it might even be worse in some ways for more casual audiences. The movie is funny, then random spurts of sickening brutality are on display, it also doesn't shy away from nudity. It all makes for a package that many people are not going to get a whole lot out of.
Me? I am all for the weird. I likely would have made this movie differently, but that is what I love about this director. Ari Aster feels like he is making an uncompromising statement with this movie. That he has an incredible eye for compelling stories and horrific horror. My take on this would have been much more horror, and a lot less comedy but we shouldn't talk about movies in a way of what we would have done. I didn't make this movie, Ari Aster did.
Some people's expectations might not be met with this and I can see that. I say bring on the weird, and I hope Ari Aster continues to be able to make these movies without a bunch of studio intervention. Go see this movie, give it all your money. Movies like this need to happen. Directors like Ari Aster are some of the most exciting directors working now. They are making movie that push boundaries, movies that experiment with what a film can possibly be.
After a second watch I might absolutely fall in love with this movie, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they did. My first experience was such disbelief at what I was seeing. It was weird. Even for me one of the champions of making cinema as weird as possible. Like seriously this is about as up my alley as it gets. I can't wait to visit this again, and see what else I might feel about it. For now, I think its a great movie and deserves to be experienced by horror fans.
Technical Meter: 8
Combined Score: 8