Okay, figured out the Google Play discount, thus I present:
As this film progressed, I went back and forth from feeling like the placement of Lucile Hadzihalilovic's prior film, Innocence, in my top 10 all time was going to be a millstone around its neck or that it will make me more lenient in recognition of my trust in her filmmaking. Indeed, it was the latter that seems more likely as I could easily see myself blasting this film as not amounting to much...staying too vague in its weirdness. It is an oddity that lives in the world of Cronenberg or Eraserhead.
Between this world and that of Innocence, Hadzihalilovic could be called a builder of uncanny worlds, much like Yorgos Lanthimos. These are worlds that seem a lot like ours but are queered in one way or another, in theory to draw out a metaphor. This one sets us in a coastal village where adult women tend to boys nearing the onset of puberty. Innocence was pretty clear as metaphor of how girls are groomed rather cruelly to make it in the world. Maybe it is a mistake to try to view this as a mirror image, a film about the ills of boys becoming men in society. If anything, it feels like the community enacts a form of revenge for historic subjugation of women. But the point is, as effectively creepy as the images and mood of the film evokes, it leaves too much unsaid. This doesn't doom it as a reasonable piece of craft, but it certainly keeps it far away from the transcendent place of Innocence.