An hour before seeing this I learned that an NC-17 version played Sundance, but decided a missing shot or two of Skarsgard’s penis and busted face wouldn’t keep me from the theatrical experience. The Movieland’s dirty screens act similarly to 35mm film grain in helping digitally composited shots look more natural. Great title design, decent Tim Hecker score. Despite the title, we never get to see the pool. I hope he was referencing Michael Snow in some early shots… even if not, it made me think about Snow, which is always a good thing. The color-washed orgy montage a highlight. Which version/clone of Skarsgaard survives to ditch his flight in favor of the abandoned resort? What is the real motivation for the Mia Goth-led group leading him through these ordeals? Is it all a dream or a drug trip? Doesn’t matter!

I keep getting Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) and Ti West (Cabin Fever 2) confused. I suppose the closest I’ve ever come to liking a Ti West movie was House of the Devil, and if I’d looked him up first I might’ve skipped this one, but a well-regarded horror about a bootstrap porno movie filming on the property of elderly murderers was too good to pass up. The camerawork is on point, and when changing scenes the editing will flip back and forth between the old and the new, a certain sense of the avant-garde like they’re doin’ in France.

Mia Goth is our entry point character, and also plays the old woman, loves to play in movies where the lead actress plays multiple roles from different generations. Cameraman Owen Campbell (paranoid main kid from Super Dark Times) dies first, stabbed in the throat for refusing the old woman’s advances, and the cowboy in charge (Martin Henderson of The Ring Remake) comes next, unwisely putting his eye up to a suspicious hole. The old man just shoots porn actor Kid Cudi (recently great in Bill & Ted Face the Music) in the swamp, actress Brittany Snow (Prom Night Remake) is pushed into the gator pond, and soundgirl Jenna Ortega (Scream Reboot) is shot escaping. The movie-in-the-movie is called Farmer’s Daughter, and they sing “Landslide” after shooting, it’s all very Fleetwood-inspired. Oh no, they’re making a prequel.

“Feels good to fall, you know? The further the better.” After a dream of skydiving, Grace Van Patten (The Meyerowitz Stories, daughter of the Master Ninja guy) is working a shit job at a nightmare wedding, then ends the day by putting her head in an oven, so I guess the rest is an Over the Garden Wall near-death fantasy with a Peter Pan wonderland feel. She’s recruited as a sniper by the other women on the island she falls onto, never being well advised on wtf is going on, as they’re constantly being attacked by men whose planes they steer into rocks and storms using deceptive radio practices (and the Wilco yankee-hotel-foxtrot clip).

“Maybe we should capture some instead of killing them all.”
“We’ve tried that, that was exhausting.”

The woman are actors she glimpsed at the wedding, from bride Mia Goth to bathroom attendant Juliette Lewis, now a solitary motorhead badass. Eventually there’s a music sequence with a troop of men, and Grace believing that her old life could be better if only she could return by escaping this island. A good looking movie, but the thing about taking place in a fantasy world where nothing makes sense is that nothing makes sense. The widescreen ratio means the watermark with my email address never obscured the action.

Mia and Grace go Moonlighting:

Feminist murder gang: