Kratt (2020)

Mia (Nora Merivoo) and Kevin (Harri Merivoo) — yes, the children of the director Rasmus Merivoo, but they do quite well — are staying with Grandma (Mari Lili) at her home in the country as their parents attend a retreat. Stuck without access to the web, the kids are entertained by their grandmother’s story of the kratt, a demonic creature that will do anything asked. And hey, if they find the instructions and decide to make their own, nothing will go wrong, right?

Rasmus Merivoo, the director and writer, said that “Kratt is a bloody story with no bad characters. A comedy that encourages you to worry less. A lesson on fear and what happens if you listen to it. A film for grownups and kids. A film not for the
faint-hearted, but part of a full-fledged life for the brave.”

Yep, pretty much.

I haven’t seen many — if any — films from Estonia, but hey this is pretty wild.

So what is a kratt? A part of Estonian folklore, the kratt is a creature made from hay or old household implements and then given life by giving three drops of blood to the devil. The flying demon must constantly be kept working, stealing and doing or it will turn on its master. The only way to stop a kratt is to give it an impossible task which will frustrate it to the point that it will burn itself up.

There are moments of sheer whimsy and fun here, as well as some moments that may not translate to American audiences all that well, but who cares? Don’t we watch foreign films to delight in the alien, the different and the strange?

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