CUCKOO

★★★

NEEDS TO BE MORE LOCO

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
16th June 2024

The horror genre has been in a boom of late and is the at the forefront of creativity and pushing the limits of the cinematic language. From 'Get Out' to 'Midsommar' and 'Talk to Me' to 'Pearl', the genre continues to thrive. When you mix the genre with 'Euphoria' star Hunter Schafer, 'Cuckoo' quickly became one of the year's most anticipated films.

It follows Gretchen (Schafer, 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes', 'Kinds of Kindness') and her family moving to German Alps to a small closed-off village. This new home is run by Mr König (Dan Stevens, 'Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire', 'Abigail'), who doesn't appear as welcoming as he seems, and there are sinister secrets beneath the surface. Her father (Marton Csokas, 'Freelance', 'Chevalier') and stepmother (Jessica Henwick, 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery', 'The Matrix Resurrections') seem unphased but this, and when she learns of the true nature of their trip and how it involves her stepsister (Mila Lieu, TV's 'Dodger'), she plans to get to the bottom of it.

'CUCKOO' TRAILER

'Cuckoo' has a lot of potential, from its campy nature to stellar cast, but it all boils down to mediocre venture. The film takes itself too seriously and does lean into the campiness of its world. As it is, the film falls into a forgettable category and overstays its welcome.

'Cuckoo' has a lot of potential, from its campy nature to stellar cast, but it all boils down to mediocre venture.

The acting elevates beyond being a total miss. Schafer continues to be one of the most exciting new actors, and I was completely in awe of her whenever she was on screen. Stevens understands the campy nature the film needs and is truly having a blast in every scene.

'Cuckoo' has all the pieces, but they never come together. The recipe for a fun horror film is here, but this is a dish that comes undercooked.

Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
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