Into the Dark: Pure (2019)

  • Gist: A girl who recently came to live with the father she had never known–along with his wife and other daughter who is about her same age–goes with him and her sister to a churchish daddy-daughter purity retreat at a woodland camp.
  • This a series?: Yes, it’s part of Into the Dark, a series of modest-budget horror-thrillers from Blumhouse, but is a stand-alone story.
  • Is it Scary?: It is deeply creepy, unnatural, and disturbing, but that has nothing at all to do with the possible supernatural elements.
  • Wedding dresses, purity rings, and purity vows: 1 of each per girl, of course.
  • Sermons by a That-Guy preacher: 3
  • Acts of hypocrisy: Too many to count
  • Subtle shifts from “I protect my daughter” to “I own my daughter”: Depends how you define subtle.
  • Directing: A while back Jason Blum tweeted he doesn’t use women directors because there aren’t many, and he got back a barrage of names he presumably didn’t realize were women. Hannah Macpherson, who also co-wrote this story and screenplay, directs Pure with well-rounded sensitivity.
  • Cliches: Several, but they fit. Familiar thriller-movie beats hang around unusually good character development.
  • Complaints?: …the ending was a letdown, not because it was wrong but because I expected more after such a good build. Endings are hard.

Conclusion: See it with modest expectations, especially if sexism disguised as religion resonates with you. Avoid if triggered by same.