Published Sep 15, 2015Please note that only capsule reviews are authorized for this title until its theatrical release.
Tellingly subtitled "A New England Folktale," this graceful, hauntingly stylish thriller is thoroughly permeated with the fervid religious paranoia felt by 17th century colonialists facing the chilling impotence of man against the merciless, unfathomable power of Mother Nature.
Exiled from a plantation village, a man, his wife and their five children set up their own homestead in complete isolation. When tragedy befalls the family, the nearby woods take on a more sinister cast, suggesting a malicious force may be to blame, and worse still, that their sins in the eyes of God may have invited such an intrusion.
Eggers does a tremendous job of making the commonplace feel otherworldly and menacing, effectively reflecting the inner mindset of a people convinced that the devil is always lurking, seeking any opening in which to infect the innocent. It's an assured debut from a promising talent that will forever change the way you feel about goats.