Film critic with 130+ publications. English/writing tutor and online film teacher.
Sophisticated, vibrant, and creative pink film. The ambivalence of Yuko's and Takuya's relationship is powerful, and the rest of the film is constructed intelligently. The butterfly motif seems lifted from The Collector; here it reflects not so much Takuya's obsession (as it did for Freddie in The Collector) but more Yuko's youth, innocence, and impending transformation. Very well written and directed, and driven home by Kozue Tanaka's great performance as Yuko (some of the most emotional eyes in cinema).
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!