KOKO-DI KOKO-DA (2019, streaming on Shudder) is a Swedish psychological horror film about a couple trapped in grief. Surreal, dark, and thematically lush, the film is solid, though it requires viewers to get on its wavelength as an allegory or be left wanting.
The film opens with Tobias, Elin, and their daughter on a family holiday, where food poisoning changes their lives. Three years later, the couple go for another holiday in an effort to move on and rediscover their happiness, though it’s clear they’re still bitter and grieving. While camping, mysterious strangers plague them in a horrible night that repeats over and over, seemingly with no escape. To survive, they must overcome their trauma and come together to fight for their lives.
The film is well done. The atmosphere and tension are effective, and the strangers are wonderfully creepy and horrible. Intermittently, we are shown a shadow play about rabbits that thematically ties into the story, which I enjoyed as it was quite artistically done. Once you become aware of what’s happening and why, the symbolism is almost endless. The story culminates in a satisfactory way.
On the downside, we don’t really get to know Tobias and Elin that well. Almost everything we know about them is through the lens of their grief, so it’s difficult to engage with them as people. The film works well as horror, though it requires an appreciation of the point it’s making. I took the film on its own terms as pure allegory and with few other expectations, and I liked it for what it was.