Funded on Kickstarter by its writer and director Jeremy Saulnier, this is a study of vengeance and the cycle of violence that it can begin. Dwight (Macon Blair) has never been able to deal with the murder of his parents by a man whom he learns is about to be released from jail. At the film’s beginning we see Dwight living out of his car, rummaging in garbage for anything edible, and we learn later that he hides from remaining family members, fully aware of the shameful state he has allowed to become the norm. The knowledge that the person he holds responsible for everything is to be set free though, galvanises his long gestating hatred and he plots brutal recriminations.
Well shot and acted, this doesn’t pull its punches, dealing in a very real way with the harsh reality of violence, hate and anger. Some of the scenes aren’t as successful as they could have been, in terms of character reactions and the staging of some of the action, and it would perhaps have not been amiss to show more moments of inflection from the protagonist as he continues his descent into hell, but this is nevertheless believable overall, and compelling throughout.