The sophomore film from Baskin director Can Evrenol follows a woman haunted by the horrific deaths of her father and sister at the hands of her mother. Now living in stylish luxury with her writer husband, an old friend introduces her to a Scientology-style cult and she finds herself descending into a feverish psycho-sexual nightmare.
While the demonic depravity of Baskin occasionally felt like an assault upon the soul, here Evrenol instead conjures a heady blend of dread and desire, punctured by sharp thrusts of perverse violence. With vivid shades of Amer and the cold gloss of Nocturnal Animals, the film is exquisitely lit and shot, and features a fearless central performance from Clémentine Poidatz.
That said, David Sakurai is awful and severely lacking in charisma as the cult’s leader, and the film’s climax will just seem ridiculous for many viewers. Yet, by the end the film revels in its own absurdity, and the dreamlike structures beckon you to suspend your belief and just enjoy the trip.
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