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The first few minutes kinda shocked me, but then it became a throbbing indistinguishable mess. Horrible movie.
Begotten seems to be striking for something fundamental and mythic, but falls short a bit. Some moments are a bit silly and pretentious. On the whole the mythic tone of the film was too classical in nature to be of much interest to me personally. The "Son of Earth" is heavily reminiscent of Dionysus, for instance.
Fundamental cycles of birth, death, rebirth, fertility, are fairly well represented. However, I feel like this filmmaker watched Hart of London and some early Bunuel, and maybe read some Nietzsche for all I know, and failed to create something quite as impressive as those sources. Begotten taps into the more grisly, physical aspects of myth. Bodily fluids abound. It's all too obtuse to be particularly shocking.
Merhige is, however, very effective at evoking the otherworldly and primeval, one of the film's great successes. Visually it is very striking at times.
That's about as good a review as this film will ever get from me because I cannot see myself ever watching it again. If any of the above seems of interest to you, you might as well watch it because it only runs a little over an hour.
An unparalleled masterpiece of abstract horror surrealism. Whether you adore it or despise it - this is a movie you will never forget.
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #6 in BFI's 100 Cult Films
This movie ranks #24 in 366 Weird Movies
This movie ranks #895 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films