Hagazussa is a 15th century story of fear, outcasts and the unknown.
Incredibly atmospheric in its slow moving pace but also keenly reminiscent of Robert Egger’s The VVitch in the style, shot choices and, of course, the topics and how they are handled. Throw in a dash of Nicholas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising with the stark environment and the absurd, drug-fuelled imagery and feel and an absolutely astounding central performance from Aleksandra Cwen as Albrun it leads to Hagazussa growing on you the more you think about it. It is both mesmerising and eerie bordering on awkward.
Told in four parts: Bone, Shadow, Horn and Fire, we see the progression of the central character from young girl under her mothers watchful eye, through becoming an orphan and finding her own way and her inevitable path through life.
The score by MMMD is absolutely superb throughout, dripping with horror film dread and also touching on to the strange and weird happenings. Mariel Baqueiro’s cinematography takes the static style that I adored in The VVitch and adds extra brightness with the vivid colours of the surroundings and captures the amazing location in the German forests and mountains.
Director and writer Lukas Feigelfeld has done a fantastic job of conveying the sense of being an outcast, the fear of the unknown and the fear and pressure of predestination, the fate or inescapable path that your parents set you on.
If you loved The VVitch then this slow burning, arthouse horror is for you. Never dipping into the realm of scary instead going for the disturbing. Hagazussa delicately lays on the dread and a sense of not knowing where you are going. Or even scarier is why you are being compelled to follow a certain path even against your will, that is where the real fear comes from.