This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jeremy Burgess’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"So are we just gonna ignore the bear?"
Ah, at long last, the feature-length Scandinavian adaptation of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery that we deserve.
I think Aster's writing is catching up to his already-great directing, perhaps because we see what's coming this time; a showing of the hand, rather than a(n attempted) sleight of hand.
That puts the burden of the narrative on the performances and the imagery, which is where this film truly excels. A full-tilt lean into a canvas of many colors—disturbing at times, of course, but often beautiful, and sometimes both at once. I'm struck particularly by the shot of Pugh cloaked in flowers as a temple burns behind her; it's no accident that the score ascends triumphantly in this moment. In fact, from the Swedes' perspective, this is a heroes' journey fulfilled, is it not?
A few minor things took me out of the experience at times—the hallucination effect is rather annoying and overdone, and I'm not sure I totally buy the relationship dynamic between Pugh and Reynor—but this was a small bother given that a striking set piece was always around the next bend. Also, this film is low-key hilarious?
It is truly wild that this film went into wide release the same day as a Spider-Man movie on a holiday weekend.