Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It was the Sundance darling with the new IT girl of indie film—Elizabeth Olsen. It's haunting, riveting, disturbing, brilliant and 85% fantastic.

The last 15% percent is where I had a huge problem. I'm all for ambiguity and "art" films, but Jesus Christ  filmmakers, finish your fucking stories. If you're going to make me sit there for an hour and half, get me interested in these characters and invested in their lives at least have the decency to give me a little bit of closure. That's all I want and I don't feel that's too much to ask for.

I really, really liked this movie. Olsen did a fantastic job and John Hawkes, as the cult leader Patrick, has been great in pretty much everything he's ever been in, I was invested in what was going on and I didn't look at my phone to check the time through the whole thing. Those are all things that add up to a great cinematic experience for me.

But at the end of the movie, when the screen went black and the credits started rolling, I did mutter ever so quietly to myself "Are you fucking kidding me?"

I didn't need an explosive finale or anything like that but, like I said before, a little bit of closure would be nice.

Aside from that, first time writer/director Sean Durkin made a hell of a debut. He's able to switch back and forth between past and present convincingly, and Olsen kills it the entire time. I did want to know more about why she joined the cult in the first place, what exactly Patrick's end goal is, because as far as I can tell, it wasn't a religious cult. There are lots of unanswered questions on that front, which I was okay with. That was fine.

It's just that I think Durkin wanted the ending to be far more powerful than it was. It was so close to being great but right at the very end all the air went out when it shouldn't have.

So close.

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