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A fantastic story, but the payoff is almost comedically anti-climactic. The pacing is all off and I learned nothing at all about new animal species (which was the whole point). That said, there is still some inherent value and excitement to the story.
They hike for weeks through the most treacherous locations imaginable, finally get to the tepui, look around for 3 minutes, scoop ONE tadpole out of a puddle, and IMMEDIATELY turn around and start going home. I'm not joking.
This movie is baffling. Visually stunning, but... I'm not sure it's a "good" movie? Fun? Enjoyable? The runtime is insurmountable (even at 80 minutes), and I wonder if it would have been better as an anthology TV series. It's grueling to get through in one sitting, but if one watched 5 minutes at a time it would be an artistic feast. It feels anyway like the "story" is plopped on top begrudgingly, and Tippett would have been much happier to…
A lot of cool ideas, but doesn’t deliver enough on most of them. Not enough was done with the religion angle, and once they settled into the Iceland plotline the visual style became more routine. Some of the scenes felt very muddled and unclear. A pretty decent movie, but a missed opportunity in my opinion.
As an aside, an interesting amount of similarities with The Witch: emphasis on accents, period piece, muddy rural life, pagan religions, and of course Anya.
Very strong and ahead of its time. Feels remarkably modern compared to the other stodgy gothic horror films of the 1960s. A genuine supernatural element, mostly atmospheric horror, and no reliance on silly special effects (as in House on Haunted Hill, for example, which I otherwise love). Robert Wise is an underrated director! He made this and then Sound of Music two years later; what versatility!