The atmosphere here builds and builds, you know something terrible is going to happen when all is revealed, but by the time it happens, you have run out of patience.
DIRECTOR: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage
STARRING: Kaitlyn Dever, Walton Goggins, Olivia Colman
SCREENPLAY: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage
RUNTIME: 98 Minutes
★★★ 2.5 Stars
We went into this one completely blind, having seen nothing other than the poster to endear it to me, and the information I read hurriedly on IMDB before the film actually started. I’m not going to lie, this wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be about, I thought it would be creepier and lean further towards horror then drama, but I won’t hold that against it, I have a lot of other issues.
Mara is a young Pentecostal girl, whose father is a pastor in a church who proves their faith in god by handling venomous snakes. She is coming of marriageable age, and her father has chosen a suitable young man for her to marry. However, Mara is struggling with her faith, and is harbouring a secret that could turn her world upside down if it is ever revealed.
The atmosphere here was amazing. Although we as the audience fins out what Mara’s secret is fairly quickly, we spend most of the movie watching her try and keep it hidden from everyone else, and the situation gets tenser the more people find out. We are shown her fathers’ level of devotion several times throughout the film, leaving no doubt in our minds what will happen when Mara’s secret is revealed.
Sadly though, the pacing of the film is painfully slow. So by the end of the extremely predictable plot, most of the audience aren’t interested in the finale anymore. They lost interest a while ago. This is such a shame, as the performances in this film are pretty good. Englert and Goggins steal the scene every time they are in frame together, and although Olivia Colman’s southern accent is a little…sticky in places, she still gives a powerful performance as ‘Sister Slaughter.’
So this wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. It had it’s upsides, but they weren’t necessarily enough to outweigh all of it’s problems.