Written July 30, 2016
I wanted to like this movie. I was raised in and near multiple cults, in Northern California. I love beautiful, dark, unconventional cinema, like Irreversible, or Tree of Life. But despite the genuinely fascinating subject matter (rape-cult victim), the director seemed more interested in close-ups of Elizabeth Olsen's notably beautiful face than providing such mundane conventions as, say, a plot arc. Or an ending.
I get that there is an interesting tension between what is good and bad about the rape-cult lifestyle and what is good and bad about Martha's sister's conventional family/career-oriented lifestyle. But the direction of the film wants us to pay attention to the tension of Martha being ready to snap, and--either way--he refuses to deliver.
Standing at the exit, listening to exiting conversations, I heard a lot of people making polite, positive comments. Or confused comments. No raves.
This is the Sundance film we're supposed to like. But it's just not that good.
Written October 28, 2011
This film is very intense; you will be entranced by the cinematography and the faces of the characters. The most epic moment for me was when Patrick plays the guitar.
Written February 07, 2016
I like answers to questions, and I don't care to be left hanging. That's how I felt most of the time while watching this film. I felt that the characters weren't giving the audience a good enough idea of what might have happened in the past (especially with Martha and her family). The acting was fantastic and I was on the edge of my seat during certain scenes.
The film was very eery, and that aspect was done very well. I wasn't pleased with the ending and I feel they could have left off on a different note. I still have too many un-answered questions. It's funny, because several people left during the film because they must have been offended. Yes, there are some offensive scenes, but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, not bad.
Written August 25, 2016
Barely mediocre. As I'm sure you've heard, the WORST ending to a movie I've ever seen! They say not to spoil the ending in this review. HA HA HA There is no ending.
Written October 02, 2014
Spine-tingling exploration of a fractured psyche with a hypnotic performance from Elizabeth Olsen. I'm quite certain she will get an Oscar nomination. First-time director Sean Durkin does an incredible job. He's a huge new talent -- the next Martin Scorsese.