Eye For Film >> Movies >> Kratt (2020) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
When you were at primary school, did you ever get asked to write an essay about what you did in your summer holidays? In the absence of interesting events, were you tempted to get creative? Rasmus Merivoo’s Kratt – part of the Fantasia 2021 line-up – feels as if it started out that way, but that’s not to fault it. It perfectly captures the spirit of a summer adventure.
Mia and Kevin (Nora and Harri Merivoo – this makes no secret of being a family film) are sent to stay with their grandmother (Mari Lill) for the summer because their parents want some time alone. Being stuck out in the middle of nowhere in rural Estonia isn’t their idea of fun, especially without their phones, and the suggestion that they fill up their time by doing chores doesn’t go down well. They’re smart kids, however, always looking for solutions, and when Mia learns about kratid (which viewers outside the country are most likely to have encountered in Rainer Sarnet’s November), she thinks she’s landed on the perfect one.
One discreetly obtained occult tome later and the kids (joined in their scheme by local twins) are ready to construct their own kratt. All they need to do is purchase a soul for it from the Devil and then keep it occupied with plenty of work so that it doesn’t murder them. What could possibly go wrong?
Of course, nothing goes to plan in this lively, chaotic horror comedy aimed at the kind of kids who like Roald Dahl books and whose parents aren’t too squeamish about gore or (non-sexual) nudity. It disappoints a bit on the monster front and it’s extremely uneven, with a dose of political satire that’s too broad for most adults and will bore most kids, but when it hits the mark, younger viewers will love it. They’ll be bragging about what they’ve seen for weeks, rewarded by the disgust of their peers.
Kratt is a deeply flawed, messy piece of work, but it has a decent supply of ideas and a joyously bleak ending. It just needs to find the right audience.Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2021