Jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Antonio Campos takes a lesson from Derek Cianfrance and Andrew Dominik. Combining nihilistic undertones and intense imagery. I'm surprised to see all of the mixed reactions behind this film. Yes, this film is in fact very dark, violent and twisted. But, that's the point. I like Campos uses flashbacks and the present day to, tie in the story lines.
We are following a small southern town that is closed in with lies and false prophets. Religion, PTSD, police brutality, and imperialism ravaging the town. Each story is presented with such observation and criticisms of the evils of these such acts. What I got from the film is that the devil/sins are going to eventually get to you. Mentally or in some certain fatality.
Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson and Eliza Scanlen put on their best performances. Specifically, Tom Holland is the one who completely surprised me. It goes to show that taking smaller films will work in the end as long, as you have the right material.
Knowing that this is based on a novel, it actually plays out like a Gothic novel. The story structure, dialogue and overall editing makes it feel like you are reading/feeling the story.
I totally understand if people don't vibe with this movie. Like I said before, the subject matter is twisted. But, I think it does a good job critiquing the evils of religion and small town culture. I do think the narration was bothersome in some scenes.