I went into this thinking it was going to be a long cheap horror investigating story like a modern Sherlock Holmes where he's a fan of pop culture.
I was wrong. This was actually quite funny too (or perhaps something about middle aged cynical men with sarcastic inward comments is hilarious to me?!)
It starts very lightly with an investigative reporter, Scott looking into the suicide of the daughter of a horror movie-maker named Corodova. That man makes Tarantino look like a Disney movie directer or maybe a children bedtime stories' writer. Something about his films darkness went beyond cinematic experiences that they were turned into rare films with only nightly secret group screenings, so traumatizing people faint and scream and in some cases turn into copycat serial killers. The thing about his movies is that even long after they're finished and life goes on, Corodova still exists in your mind, the most powerful place for enemies to hide. His films told you that. The suspected but but unseen threat, fueled by the imagination, was pushing and all powerful.
Something about the film`s darkness made me wonder if I would- as If in witnessing such things I was irrevocably breaking myself in (or just breaking myself), arriving at an understanding about humanity so dark, so deep down inside my own soul, I could never go back the way I was before.... This was, in Cordovite speak,to slaughter the lamb, get rid of you meek, fearful self, thereby freeing yourself from the restrictions imposed on you by friends , family and society at large.
Even the actors that goes into on those night films, has to undergo some serious scrutinizing personal-detailed interviews.
When you working, you stayed at The Peak. You ate your meals there, you were allowed no contact with the outside world. You turned your life over to him, handing him the keys to your kingdom. That meant your mind as much as your body. Tou showed up on that first day of production, ignorant and blind. You knew nothing about the film, or who your character was, or really anything at all except your life as you'd know it was over... When you finally returned to our life after working with Corodova, it was as if all colors had been turned up in your eyes. The reds were redder. Blacks blacker. You felt thing profoundly, as if your heart had grown giant and tender and swollen.
This way he sets them free scattered around the edges of the world. Not in a (our cat, honey is now chasing Jerrys forever in a farm way).
The amount of mystery around Cordova is highlighted by his staying away from the press since 1977, staying at his estateThe Peak
(a house out of a Poe short story), where he shoots all of his films. No one ever working with Cordova talk about him ever again.
And Scott the reporter having been tricked before by Corodova, losing his career chasing after him, is back investigating Ashley Corodova with the help of Hopper and Nora.
There are major plot twists, like half way through I gave up trying to figure out where this is going. They followed Ashley's footsteps to try and uncover the truth behind her death, all having ulterior motives.
What was unnerving was how much you can find out about someone once you put your mind to it beside that known public image, and their favorite poems (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot)
You'd think every time a detail is unveiled, the vagueness and mystery surrounding them would fade and the would sound like mundane ordinary people, but no, a new eerie dark atmosphere is added to the already grim aura surrounding them.
What was really interesting too was that the narrative was from the POV of Scott and not Hopper.
The end was very satisfying because you were struck when they were leveled down from these superheroes to ordinary humans where they had to live by our mortal limits.
Now, some slight spoilers:
The double nature of the story at the end was very precise as every detail was checked out by both the ordinary and the black magic.
The surreal fantasies educed due to the poisonous plants were brilliant and completely surreal!!