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SQUEAL (2022)

Release Date: 08/19/22 [Cinemas/VOD]

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Fantasy

Studio: Good Deed Entertainment 

"Lost in remotest part of Eastern Europe, Sam is a foreigner, searching for his biological father Lagzdins where a minor road accident leads to a chance meeting with a pig-farmer's daughter, who captures him and making a slave on the farm."


We’ve all heard (and some of us have said) the phrase “men are pigs.” Welp — the Latvian dark fairy tale Squeal takes the saying quite literally — and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish.


Filmmaker Aik Karapetian puts his audience in the passenger seat alongside a weary traveler who, while setting out in search of his father, finds something very different along the way. It’s a journey to freedom and self-discovery that finds its protagonist trying to break away from literal and metaphorical chains — and leaves viewers in awe of its beautiful imagery; not to mention its weird-as-hell but wildly endearing plot turns. 


The story takes the typical storybook trope and upends it; with the strapping male lead Samuel (Kevin Jannsens) taken captive by a mysterious farm girl (Laura Silina) and her distrusting family after he accidentally runs over one of their beloved pigs. It’s refreshing to see the gender roles reversed (we get a respite from the ever-reliable damsel-in-distress cliché) as Samuel is tricked into a false sense of security by the obliging woman and winds up chained and naked in a farmhouse. The family attempts to brainwash Samuel into turning into some type of man-pig hybrid, and what unfolds from there is oddly mesmerizing and weirdly kinky at the same time. Needless to say, this is one fairy tale that’s not for kids.


As Samuel slowly begins to gain the family’s trust, viewers are treated to a smorgasbord of bizarreness; including a talking pig (yep, you read that right); a daring escape; and a large, booze-fueled family feast that feels reminiscent of Ari Aster’s Midsommar


It’s certainly unique, and one of the most beautifully lit films I’ve seen in ages. If you’re in the mood for something different, give Squeal a go.

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