I really hate dolls in horror movies. Don't get me wrong, I don't find them scary. I find them to be the poorest excuse for a horror antagonist ever conceived. They may be creepy set props but you can not honestly be scared of a doll coming at you with a knife or chainsaw. Ok well, in the ludicrous hypothetical scenario of that happening you'd likely be shitting you pants in terror but as trash movies go, it is a hilarious trope of film making failure. Fair enough if your film is tongue and cheek and not entirely serious, you can pull it off and have something that is genuinely fun and humorous to watch.
This was a mistake. A very big mistake. I wish I never ever remembered that this even existed. This movie, is a huge random mess. I cannot comprehend how this film came into being, how any decent writer, director or producer would come up with such an insane drug trip, that would put David Lynch to shame.
I am going to flat out say it. I absolutely adored this film. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but for myself, it was a highly visceral and surreal film with a delightful amount of weirdness, eeriness and atmosphere, which created a perfect blend, that I enjoyed every minute of. For Robert Eggers second directed film, following his highly successful folk horror The Witch (2015, Robert Eggers), it is a truly impressive achievement.
Why did I watch this film? Why? WHY?
I almost missed Gwen entirely. It wasn't until I saw the review by critic Mark Kermode that I became aware of it's existence. As I researched into the film I found consistently that it received a number of very praising write ups. So I decided it would definitely be worth given a try and from what I saw of the trailer, further convinced me of that. Having gone to see it, I can say that it met all expectations. It is a film that has successfully melded both Folklore and Gothicism. Creating a hybrid that one cannot help but become invested and engaged in.
This film has convinced me that all films involving humanoid-fish people for some reason insist on having them partake in sex with non-fish people. It's true! Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, Jack Arnold), The Shape of Water (2017, Guillermo Del Toro), this film, The Little Mermaid (1989, Ron Clements)! WHAT IS WITH THESE FILMS AND INTER-SPECIES FISH SEX?! Is this some kind of weird fetish I have missed out on?! (Not that I'd want to partake in such a bizarre fetish.)