This isn't Jan Svankmajer's best or most representative movie, but it may be a good introduction for people who are curious about this innovative filmmaker. Although Otesanek contains the macabre humor and surreal overtones expected in Svankmajer's films, it differs from his typical work in several ways that will make it more accessible to the average viewer. It features a plot-driven narrative with a discernible beginning, middle, and end; the characters have clearly defined identities and goals; and the latter part of the film resembles a fairly straightforward horror movie. Also, the film features a greater emphasis on live action and dialogue than some of Svankmajer's previous productions, although it still showcases his imaginative stop-action animation as well as displaying familiar Svankmajer themes such as the consumption of food. In some of his past work, Svankmajer has shown humans who acted like inanimate objects and anthropomorphized objects that acted like living beings. Those ambiguities are streamlined in this movie, which features humans who act like humans (albeit somewhat irrational ones) and a single non-human being that comes to life. Unfortunately, the humans are closer to caricatures than multidimensional characters and the animated tree stump has little personality beyond its ravenous appetite. So this film, like a lot of conventional horror movies, is interesting primarily for its striking visual images and the generally unsettling nature of the story itself.