Where the film shines is the setup, building a deep sense of foreboding. The problem is the follow-through. It is obvious where the narrative is going, even if you have the most cursory sense of Greek mythology. And then there are no surprises! The result is that the last half of the film is somewhat of a slog.
“…there are mysterious things in the world that science can’t understand. That’s bullshit.”
Part of the problem with making films based on mythology is that they are based on very old ideas. When the symbolic way of speaking resonates with something today, it can work well. But when the message is muddled, or hopelessly out of date, it just doesn’t work at all. After Entwined you’re left wondering, “Well what is the message here?” The best one I could come up with is, “Women want to seduce and trap you.” What the hell is that?
There’s one more thing that irked me about the movie. They pull out the old canard that there are mysterious things in the world that science can’t understand. That’s bullshit. Science is simply a rule system for not fooling ourselves. If you can show it on screen, science can understand it. It is fine to show the supernatural, and weave tales around it. Just don’t resort to tired tropes to tell us how mysterious it all is. Show us, and let us decide.
Entwined screened at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
"…she, and the cabin, are full of secrets."