Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 10: You Won't Be Alone (2022)

You Won't Be Alone is like a Terrence Malick movie meets the 2015 film The VVwitch, which is to say, it's probably not for everyone. But I was really entranced by its meditative approach to folky horror.

Set in 19th century Macedonia (director Goran Stolevski is Macedonian and Australian), the film follows a young woman who was cursed as a baby to live her adult life with the old "Wolf-Eateress," a witch who haunts the countryside and can shape-shift into animals or other people. The young girl is forced to learn how to survive on her own, and eventually takes on the identities of different villagers, ultimately learning what being human means. (In short, it means a lot of pain and heartbreak, especially if you are a woman.)

The majority of the dialogue in the movie comes in the form of voiceover from the young witch as she learns about the world. That, and the camera's lovingly lingering on the natural world, is what gives it that Malick feel. But don't go into it thinking there aren't some horrible moments, because there are (just how the witches are able to shapeshift is nothing short of disgusting). But at its heart I think You Won't Be Alone is a really interesting metaphorical take on gender roles and gender identity.

I watched You Won't Be Alone on Peacock.

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