I was expecting a horror film from the reviews I had read. However, a horror film, as I understand it, is a film with gratuitous violence and/or a film whose main goal is to cause the audience to experience the emotion of fear.
This was NOT a horror film (although there are one or two violent scenes).
Instead, the film is a psychological drama/thriller with serious and deep philosophical themes. By "philosophical themes", I mean that the film raises many interesting philosophical questions, such as:
- How does the relationship between women and nature compare to the one men have with nature?
- What is the interplay between nature, men, and women?
- Is there evil imbedded in the chaos which is nature?
- Given that women have a very close relationship with nature, is there an evil imbedded within women?
Very few films, if any, have attempted to raise and address these questions. Lars von Trier's film, like some of his other work, brings cinema to very new places.