A movie this week I don't think I would have ever chosen to watch having read the premis. That's the good thing about doing these movie challenges, you get to see movies, you would never otherwise have watched.
I'm not going to do a blow by blow account of the movie. This is the Swedish movie made in 1960, that 'Last House on the Left' was based on. Although there are very good things to be said about both LHOTL movies (1972 and 2009), this movie is an altogether different experience. Whereas I would describe its successors are exploitation movies, this is not on any level. Its a deep movie that makes you think, that does disturb you, but in a different way.
To start with the cinematography in this movie is just beautiful! It is a joy to watch aesthetically. From a story point of view its heartbreaking. We see the young, beautiful, but very naive and innocent daughter (Karin) of a religious couple raped and murdered by 2 herdsmen when she is delivering candles to a church. This is all witnessed by her pregnant adoptive sister and maid (who is stunningly beautiful it has to be said) and a young boy who is with the herdsmen.
Unwittingly the men seek shelter at the girls parents home and try to sell the clothes they stripped off her body after they had killed her, alerting them to what had happened.
The parents being deeply religious people opens up all sorts of questions when they seek revenge for their daughters murder and kill the herdsmen. The father seems to question his faith when wondering how something like this could possibly happen, but at the same time he wants to make up to god for what he has done, so he promises to build a church on the site of where his daughters body was found. A virgin spring has sprung forth from where she was found and her parents heartbreakingly wash their daughter in it.
I found this movie very thought provoking and beautiful to watch. My skin crawled towards the herdsmen characters. They were repugnant. The actual rape scene was horrid and although not graphic, it was very matter of fact and to the point. There is no soundtrack to this movie. No music to set a mood, or to tell us how we should feel or cover an uncomfortable scene with peril. This made the rape scene all the more nasty for me.
The murder of Karin and the herdsmen is again very to the point and not blood thirsty but is oddly effective. I liked how fire was used in a scene with one of the herdsmen and the reality of how the father throws the young boy against a wall in his grief.
This movie is certainly not for everyone, but I for one enjoyed it. It was very different from anything I have watched before and I found it refreshingly different. I would recommend it to all movie fans who like to unearth little hidden treasures.
Thumbs up from me.