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That dark undertone is what gives the movie its spine, IMO. The scene in which the other scouts launch an attack on the runaways could have been just a kids-at-play rumble until they all noticed the dog lying dead with an arrow in his side. That was a bit of a shock. It was leavening of a sort, since there is so much whimsy in the film. Like in the family's home, hanging on a wall between two pictures is a pair of scissors. We're never shown that again nor is there any explanation of why scissors should be hanging on a wall. And a trestle table outdoors in one of the scout camps is holding some scouting gear but also a framed 1940s-style photo of a woman talking on the phone. Lots of stuff like that, little unexplained anomalies.

We have an otherwise by-the-book scoutmaster who is always smoking. One time the film's narrator (Bob Baloban, looking like an ad for L.L. Bean) starts talking at day's end when visibility isn't too good, so he reaches off the side of the screen and turns on a light. Harvey Keitel is barely recognizable behind huge handlebar mustaches, and Tilda Swinton doesn't even have a name in the movie; she's listed in the cast as "Social Services". I thought the conclusion was rushed and not too credible, but I didn't mind that too much. A conventional ending just wouldn't be right for this movie.