Incomer Michael Pearce’s crude-around-the-edges approach to writing and editing is a perfect fit for this tale of a disturbed young woman (Jessie Buckley) who is slowly being sucked under by the toxic quicksand of her relationship with Mom. She finds comfort in the arms of a drifter (Johnny Flynn), who seems nice enough except for the fact that he’s a prime suspect in a series of local murders. The story could have played out as just another “susceptible girl meets winsome outsider with a gun” romantic melodrama. We have, after all, seen these family dynamics before, and there’s not much in the way of advancement over past iterations in that department. What sets it apart is that, this time, our distressed damsel has a sociopathic secret or two of her own lazing in the closet. (Beasts might have been a better title.) Not since Sissy Spacek fell in with Martin Sheen in Badlands has an actress taken us through the process of swapping home and hearth for a homicidal maniac with the manic intensity Buckley displays here. (2017) — Scott Marks
This movie is not currently in theaters.