Thursday, October 17, 2019

Spook Out! Day 17 ~ The Golem (2018)

Netflix Says...
"As sickness spreads throughout the countryside, an infertile woman conjures a living child out of clay and sets it loose on her enemies."

I Say...
An intelligent, grieving mother seeks to protect her village by birthing a creature impossible to control.

Horror Type...

Main Players...
Hani Furstenberg as Hanna (Grieving But Feisty Mom)
Ishai Golan as Benjamin (Steadfast Husband)
Kirill Cernyakov as The Golem Kid (In the words of one of the characters, Heartless Monster)

I liked...
  • this wonderful exploration of the dark side of Jewish folklore
  • that the 17th C setting is perfectly reinforced by the clothing, the homes, the village--it all really puts you there, if you know what I mean
  • that Hanna, who at first turned me off, unfolds as a brave and vulnerable woman. She's not a perfect protagonist, but by the end I was really rooting for her
  • that her husband Benjamin, who is also not a perfect husband, is a loving man who stands by his wife
  • the supporting cast, who enriched the story with their genuine performances (all the performances were terrific)
  • the take on the golem creature--not some honkingly-huge monstrosity but the form of the son Hanna and Benjamin lost seven years before the start of the film. This choice makes for some serious maternal angst, I'll tell you what
  • the little Frankenstein hommage of the outfit Hanna sews the Golem

The Meh...
  • I could just not be connecting some dots but I don't understand why Hanna seems to've been sort of ostracized by her village for the past seven years. If that's connected to how her son died, it was unclear to me
  • it's difficult for 21st C eyes to behold a community in which women weren't permitted to learn (granted, this is true of many historical films). I'm just sayin', that Hanna has to learn in secret, and only bc her husband agrees to help her by smuggling books to her, chaffs my chaps
  • maybe the first 40-ish minutes were a little on the slow side--but boy, does the action ramp up!

Would I recommend it...?
Absolutely! The rich storytelling (and the story it tells) should please softer hearts but the judicious use of splatter and monster attacks should satisfy horror aficionados.

One review I read stated that it's not the Golem but the anti-Semitism of a neighboring community (and, indeed, the world) that's the true horror--and I have to agree.

My Grade: B+
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: Tomatometer=88%, Audience Score=43%

Details, Schmeetails...
I Watched The Golem on Netflix (the Rotten Tomatoes page linked above provides links to other host sites)
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a Wikipedia Page for The Golem. :-( So instead I'll link to this fabulous review which lays out all the action of the movie (so yeah, it contains spoilers!)

This concludes day 17 of


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