Naughty aka Juli Norwood’s review published on Letterboxd:
Director Valdimar Johannsson's directorial debut is the result of studying under Bela Tarr at his filmmaking school Film Factory, which Bela Tarr had opened shortly after his retirement as an legendary filmmaker and former heavyweight champion of "Slow Cinema". (Another film genre I absolutely adore! I guess that makes Lav Diaz the new reigning heavyweight champion of Slow Cinema).
Bela Tarr's influence may be visible early on in the film however the lions share of the credit falls squarely on the shoulders of the new and upcoming director whose remarkable vision brought us this incredibly atmospheric film! Part folklore, part eco-horror, part magical realism, which just happen to be themes that REALLY hit me where I live!
The first part of the film as mentioned above had Tarr's fingerprints all over it.. RE: setting the mood, the tone of the film by letting imagery do the heavy lifting in conveying the unspoken trauma that emotionally crippled the young couple featured in the film. The contrast between the couples demeanor in the 1st part of the film vs the 2nd part of the film were astonishing! Going from empty shells of themselves and simply going thru the motions to full blown animated exuberance. Other than that it was Valdimar Johannsson's baby brought to full term through his own blood, sweat and tears!
The Icelandic backdrop was the ideal locale for this chilling mythical revenge tale to unfold. A pristine land untouched by time, majestic if you will, with a sense of foreboding emanating from within the fog rolling down the slopes of the mountain. Gorgeous, yet menacing spawning grounds for myths and legends! A place like this makes it that much easier to suspend disbelief. The special effects are sublime!
A simple fable about self-destructive behavior of exploiting nature and how it will come back and bite you in the ass with a vengeance!
P.S. NOT your typical A24 Horror flick. So it would be ill advised to conjure up any such expectations. This film is unlike any film you have ever seen before. Take in a deep breath with me and remember Different is GOOD!