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‘Kratt’ review: Charming and gory film has too much to say

Less is more.

Kratt is a dark fantasy from Estonia that is part adventure movie, part fairy tale. Two siblings are left at their grandmother’s farm for the summer without their smartphones. It does not take long for the pair to become bored. Thankfully, they find instructions for how to build a Kratt – a mythological creature who will do whatever it’s master says. They soon learn there are worse things than doing chores on the farm.

The film takes a surprisingly long time to introduce the titular creature and even longer for it to actually make an appearance on screen. The first hour or so of Kratt is spent building the world. This includes themes of overreliance on technology , progress versus tradition, plus a few subplots. It is a lot for what should be a straightforward story.

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Much of it is the type of set up seen in these types of films. The issue is, there is a lot more of it. Characters and situations come and go making it difficult to keep track of everything. This is most evident when a supercomputer bent on wile domination is introduced later in Kratt. This is all the more noticeable since there is a lot to like. The movie is genuinely funny and filled with humor that kids and adults can appreciate. It is unafraid to lean into its sillier aspects with a number of wacky montages and clever use of camera zooms.

For all the zaniness, Kratt has something serious to say. There are constant reminders of how technology is causing people to lose track of their humanity. Activists that are protecting a sacred grove are just as concerned with great looking Facebook headers and parents chide their kids for being on their phones too much even though they are reluctant to turn their own off.

There are also some impressive gore scenes that capture the tone while being straight up gross. These moments really stand out since they look so good, and are few and far between They end up hinting at the story’s potential. Kratt is never a bad movie, but a classic example of less being more. The end result is a meandering film filled with charm.

Kratt is available through Video on Demand

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