The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter ★★★★★

like i said earlier, abusers like to cloak themselves in ostensible omnipotence & invulnerability, and reverend powell’s a master at appearing an irresistible force. (‘don’t he never sleep?’) but one of the many, many unconventional tonal choices that make this genre-smashing, gender-smashing film so great is its repeated sudden shift from overwhelming immediate menace into slapstick at powell’s expense. for all their supposed divine appointment, abusers are (joy of joys) hilariously vulnerable to basement shelves and underfoot jars and cellar doors and cats, god bless the lot of them.

i will never get over how well this film juggles complex clashes of ideologies and motivations while resisting immense peer pressure to equivocate on abuse. it’s a little miracle with a great big miracle inside, much like the doll, or, more accurately, much like pearl and john.

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