From the director of Hereditary, comes a breakup movie, summer comedy, evil-but-charming cult story, and folk-horror all rolled into one. Pugh stars as Dani, an emotionally insecure and naïve (willfully?) girl latching on to her trashy boyfriend for some solace in her gloomy life. A distressing family tragedy drives Dani further into Christian’s reluctant embraces & soon after, Dani joins him and his 3 chums on a backpacking trip to Sweden after a reluctant last moment invitation. Their destination in Sweden is an idyllic commune bursting with bright colors, inhabited by the beguiling and ever-smiling tribe called Harga who practice enigmatic and violent rituals, and later seen, lots of creepy stuff (like a man finds a girl’s pubic hairs in his food). Though the mood remains bright and funny mainly due to cultural misunderstanding, the hosts understand exactly what has to be done. What starts as a laidback exploration (with “high” hopes of hedonism) of an obscure community soon transforms into And Then There Were None set in a pagan village.
Pugh gives us the perfect portrayal of a grieving girl trying her best to ignore all the gloom and move on. She is trying to show a calm and normal face but is tormented within. Pugh is so convincing as a clueless and morose girlfriend that we see the innocence and tragedy in her eyes whenever she looks into the camera. For most of the movie Pugh is usually sobbing, and in an iconic scene is seen hyperventilating with her Harga BFFs. This kicks in her ultimate transformation and later she asserts herself. Pugh’s performance was so intense that she called her work in Little Women as therapy.