A fascinating and powerful departure for Almodovar, or perhaps more
accurately more an terrific hybrid of the best of his old and new.
This has the darker, more actively perversely disturbing and violent themes
of some of his early work like 'Matador' but shot and directed with the
far smoother and more mature hand he has developed over the years. It
also uses the more complex and fractured time structure style of
Almodovar's more recent work, to great effect.
In the end it's a gorgeous looking, philosophically complex mystery and
horror film. Although not gory, this is a disturbing work, both on a
literal story level, and also for the questions it raises about sexual and personal
identity, love, sado-masochism, and passion run amok.
These themes are all Almodovar touchstones, but delivered here with a
visually stunning icy touch, and with much more complete logic than in
his early works, which often felt less fully thought through, and had
more frustrating plot holes and character leaps.
Not a 'scary' film, but a creepy, moody and highly effective one. A
dark fairy tale as told by, say Stanley Kubrick.
It's good to see Antonio Banderas reunited with Almodovar, and he
delivers a wonderfully complex and quirky modern day Dr. Frankenstein.
Less emotional than my two very favorite Almodovar films (Talk to Her,
All About My Mother), but its exciting to see this extremely talented
film maker continue to evolve and grow, and I think this represents
work that can stand among his best.