IT’S A WICKED THING THIS WORLD.
Origin/Director: Australia and Serbia/Goran Stolevski
Viewings Tally: This was my first viewing! I wanted to make sure to include a recent horror release in my lineup.
Synopsis: In an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, a young feral witch accidentally kills a peasant. She assumes the peasant’s shape to see what life is like in her skin, igniting a deep seated curiosity to experience life inside the bodies of others. [Letterboxd]
Reely Bernie’s Take: The ambiguous witch in the woods among animals movie has been done before (I saw this when it was called The Witch in 2015 and then Hagazussa two years later), but You Won’t Be Alone benefits from a refreshing “impressionistic horror” interpretation. Accompanied by faux classic piano ballades and overvoiced by Macedonian prose poetry, the ugliness of witchcraft is somehow made beautiful—on occasion.
At other times, it is a brutal body horror flick that reminds us that witches can be relentless, shapeshifting beasts. The course of transforming from body to body in shadows and pine needles grows redundant by the halfway point, but credit goes to Director Stolevski for conveying a kind of sympathy for these creatures. He conjures an implied backstory that the land of these witches was stolen by the villagers, and they are simply playing their part in survival of the fittest.
If blood and entrails strewn on the ground is your thing, grab a broom stick. For most people, I think this would be a hard pass.
The Shot that Won’t Let Go:
Final Score: 2.5 sausage casings out of 5
Happy (Early) Reely Bernie Horror Fest,