Set in 778, director Paul Urkijo’s Irati follows a young man and woman tasked by a witch to travel deep into a strange, remote forest to retrieve a corpse and claim a birthright. Been there.
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The subsequent epic combines Basque folklore, sweeping battles, and eerie woodland creatures. We’ve got bleeding trees, sinister goats, dueling Christian and pagan idolatry, ancient cultures clashing with the new religious hotness, underlying themes of environmentalism and entrenched societal misogyny, and more. It’s dark and spooky, gorgeously filmed and constructed, and a thrilling historical horror adventure. Seriously, there’s a giant cannibal cyclops, this rules. [Grade: B+]
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