Pond’s review published on Letterboxd:
Not gonna lie when I saw the scores for this I was worried but Antonio Campos sold it for me. Just like I said with Simon Killer he really understands how to get his actors to play into evil. I know a ton of people are watching it just to point out it was a thirst watch any number of their favorite white actors (which I also think will lead people to like it less when they’re watching it for the cast alone but many of them have minimal roles) but please take the time to appreciate the depth he was able to get out of them. Woulda been cool to see more Bill so I could see exactly how twisted he could get but that’s not really a fault of the movie.
Combines a lot of my favorite tropes all in one in a really satisfying way. Love a movie about how someone must come to terms with the sins their parents have left to them and the lengths they take to make amends with that past and especially love a movie that takes on weird individualized interpretations of Christianity in parts of the US no one would think twice about. A love of the Christian god can bring peace to a wounded army vet or justify serial murders just so long as you believe hard enough. If the script was tightened up a little with a little less narration and given more attention to the poetic symmetry it wanted I woulda loved it even more but I think it still maintained enough of a parallelism between the four Christian men and the children they left behind, trying to find their own meaning. I understand people calling it a little cynical and sure it kinda is but it really needs to in order to make Arvin’s journey feel all the more cathartic and meaningful in the end.