‘Kratt’ Movie Review

A “kratt” is an Estonian mythical creature similar to a golem, created to do menial work, with the proviso that you’d better keep it busy or it’ll turn on you. Rasmus Merivoo’s Kratt is a hilariously dark fable about balancing work and leisure, tradition and technology, individuality and community, and is really quite unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Siblings Mia (Nora Merivoo) and Kevin (Harri Merivoo) are dropped off in the country at their grandmother (Mari Lill) for a summer without smartphones, while their parents “detoxify” at an ayahuasca retreat. Rapidly bored without social media and tired of the chores set by their grandmother, they discover an occult journal in the local library and attempt to create a kratt of their own. Bratty young Mia is flippant about the warnings and really doesn’t seem to think an actual deal with Satan is a problem, and so chaos explodes as their kratt tries to keep itself busy. Meanwhile, a logging company is tearing down a sacred grove, enraging the local community into mass action against the governor (Ivo Uukkivi).

The tone of Kratt feels a bit like a kids’ film, but the adult themes and copious lashings of gore make this distinctly unsuitable for kids. However, anyone with a dark sense of humour and patience for some slightly inexpert acting will be utterly delighted with the film. To say the film is anarchic is to do it an injustice. No-one is spared from mockery here, and the moral themes are so far outside of anything Hollywood would even consider making that it’s almost impossible to predict where things are going.

To explain the film’s twists and turns even slightly would ruin the fun, so we heartily recommend just seeing it to make up your own mind. If you enjoy Sam Raimi’s films, this one’s definitely for you.

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