Captive State could very well be set in an alternate timeline of Arrival, one where the communication tactics of Louise Banks (Amy Adams) failed and the aliens stayed put to govern over humans. While this has happened worldwide, Rupert Wyatt’s grounded new sci-fi thriller specifically hones in on Chicago, where top government officials work with the alien forces in hopes of eventually getting off the “dying rock” that is Earth. Meanwhile, nearly-eradicated factions of the resistance aim to hold on…
Snakes have long been fodder for cinematic nightmares, but combine them with oppressive Christian conservatism and you have an even more harrowing scenario. This sets the stakes for Them That Follow, which tells the tale of Pentecostal snake handlers in the outskirts of the Appalachian mountains and the faith-testing consequences they are faced with when one in their isolated circle commits a “sin.” Intended to be a character-focused, grounded look at this way of life, the drama can’t help but feel like it’s stuck in first gear until an over-the-top finale, when it’s far too little, too late.