This movie purports itself "to quickly merge fantasy and reality in this psychological drama". So what I'm expecting is a supernatural tale of ancient legends in the modern world. But what is instead delivered is a grueling tragedy of almost Shakespearean levels. I'd put it at about a Romeo and Juliet level, which I'm sure was an intentional comparison, but nowhere near as tragic as either Hamlet or Titus Andronicus.
So this is a make-believe Romeo and Juliet, where our Romeo is a Canadian named Erik who wants to win back the love of his girlfriend Lyn, who is our Juliet, and has basically broken up with Erik at the begining of the film. Lyn plays in a Pennsic like game as the Viking Princess Evlynia along with Erik's older brother Bjorn who plays as... well, Bjorn. Bjorn is a little obsessed and it seems like he never really ever leaves the game. Or breaks character. Ever. Which obviously annoys the hell out of Erik since he would just like to talk to him like a normal person. Enter the Shaman Murtagh, leader of the Celts and his plans to sacrifice Princess Evlynia to bring about the Wild Hunt, an in-game advantage for his side, on the eve of the great battle between the two warring factions. What he really wants to do, out of character, is have sex with Lyn because he fancies her, and that's not an attitude that Lyn is really discouraging in any way. But the Erik comes to the game and eventually plays along so that he can "rescue" Lyn and they can talk about their relationship. And as the game rules get bent and feelings start getting hurt, the game stops being a game and real violence starts to happen. So I'll go ahead and spoil the ending without really telling you what happens. I'll give you a hint. I've drawn comparisons to Romeo and Juliet a couple of times already.
Hi, I'm Cernunos and I'll be
your god this evening.
This movie takes a while to really start engaging you. At least for me, it was almost an hour into the film before I was really invested in the characters, and it's only an hour and thirty-five minutes long. So that's a minus. On the plus side though, the acting and the switch for people between in-character voices and out-of-character voices felt authentic to me, the direction and visual style of the movie was quite striking, and the last thirty-five minutes of this movie are absolutely fantastic.
So this movie is bad for LARPers. Not quite as bad as, say, Mazes and Monsters was, but it still doesn't look good. Because at the end of the day it does draw the conclusion that "those people" don't know where to draw the line where fantasy ends and reality begins. But then again, I've always felt that rioting after a sports victory was always a little ridiculous as well.