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"About The Giant Elk, Horse ‘Scarecrows’ In The Ritual (2017)" Topic

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Science Fiction

1,159 hits since 11 Feb 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Cacique Caribe Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 8:11 a.m. PST

Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched the film and plan to do so, stop reading now.

For those who have seen the film, based on the Adam Nevill book by the same name, I have a question or two about the creepy "scarecrows" that the villagers had around their cabins …

Were those supposed to be horse skulls or elk skulls? Or a mix?

Were those typical of the Viking or earlier cultures in that part of the world, or was that structure more of a Eurasian steppes thing, among horse cultures and not any elk-worshipping forest people? Or was that done up north as well, but with elk instead of horse?


PS. My favorite part is when the guys are debating where to go on their vacation and one of them suggests hiking the Appalachian Trail but the others say they don't want to run across any hillbillies. So instead they go to Sweden. Ha! They should have gone with the Appalachian Trail.



Dentatus Fezian12 Feb 2018 5:46 a.m. PST

Netflix'd this over the weekend. Not a gore-fest but very solid.

And yes, they should have gone to Vegas.

bsrlee12 Feb 2018 9:04 a.m. PST

Do you mean a 'Nidding pole'? Its a bit of pagan Norse folklore, used to deliver an unforgivable insult. It took the form of a horse skin with the head left in draped over a pole and pointing in the direction of the recipient of the insult – at least according to the Iceland sagas.

Personal logo TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 9:02 a.m. PST

I guess I missed those, unless they were similar to the idol in the first cabin. It was better than most of the cheap horror out there, and the creature was pretty neat. The chanting mummies were outright creepy.

I was more interested to know if the runes had any actual significance. Having not read the novel, I wondered what was containing it to just that forest?

Might make for some nice Pulp or Weird War gaming fodder. A good theme for fantasy Norse too, supernatural assistance with a price. I've always wanted to include atmospheric "traps" into some of my narrative games, such as random monsters or animals that could either ambush units or reveal their position; maybe a herd of deer bursting from cover.

HansTrier13 Feb 2018 9:26 a.m. PST

The "scarecrows" reminded me of depictions of the sacricial bogs of the norse prehistoric era – this picture is from a modern reconstruction at Lejre, Denmark:


Both animals and humans were sacrificed in the bogs – this is where the bog mummies have been found.

warhorse14 Feb 2018 5:53 p.m. PST

My wife and I ended up rooting for the man-bear-pig. When a bunch of hosers are that dumb and messed up as those four were, man we couldn't wait for them to get fed to old elk-man-tree-beard-on-crack…

The movie was so bad, it seemed to us to be a shoddy hatchet job of an intergenerational apology for the helpless damsel in distress meme that used to be so prevalent in previous generations of movies. It was like a bad version of "Frodo-and-Sam: a love story"…

Every camera shot of yet another poor, self-absorbed and narcissistic city slicker whining to the camera that he was tired/wet/cold/hungry/scared/bored and we would just about scream "man-bear-pig, come and shut this whining loser up already!"

I just about fell off the couch laughing when my wife quipped at one of the hang jobs: "at last, you whining ninny, for that you get to be a Christmas Tree decoration!"…

Sheesh. Now I know why Marlboro Man wouldn't quit smoking. He must have seen the coming collapse of the great outdoors into a massive urban millenial couch portrait.

Sorry, rant over. I guess I am getting tired of bad movies on an endless basis…

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member16 Feb 2018 9:34 p.m. PST

Bsrlee: "Do you mean a 'Nidding pole'? Its a bit of pagan Norse folklore"

Maybe that's what they were trying to portray, a nithing pole. The four guys were in Sweden, but close to the Norwegian border.






The Angry Piper11 Apr 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

Agreed, warhorse. I watched this film because I was looking for a good horror flick. This wasn't it.

The monster was ridiculous. Whatever "atmosphere" they built up to that point went right out the window when evil Bullwinkle showed up. Man, that was bad.

Still so much better than "The Open House", also a "Netflix original" that enjoys a 4 star review on NF but is critically toxic everywhere else (and for good reason). Now THAT movie was so bad it actually made me angry. Angrier than usual, anyway.

Sorry, Dan. Didn't mean to hijack your thread with a movie review, but it looks like you got the answer to your original question.

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