Them That Follow

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Olivia Colman isn't in Them That Follow a whole lot, but whenever she's onscreen—as Sister Slaughter, the dour, hardened matriarch of a small, isolated Appalachian community of snake-handling Pentecostals—she's all but unrecognizable from all of her other remarkable turns. She's always great, and she's great again here. Sister Slaughter's just one of the authority figures keeping a stern watch on Mara (Alice Englert), a young woman who's all but betrothed to the dorktacular Garrett (Lewis Pullman), an eager follower of Mara's glare-y, shouty father, Pastor Childs (Walton Goggins, predictably excellent). One problem with the whole betrothal thing, though: Neither Sister Slaughter, nor Garrett, nor Pastor Childs know that Mara's pregnant with the child of of the guy she actually loves, Augie (Thomas Mann), who can't wait to get the fuck out this ass-backwards place and never see a snake again Though it presents a hypnotic vision of Appalachia—one where quiet woods, winding roads, and leaf-strewn hills are poisoned by nests of vipers, both literal and metaphorical—Them That Follow probably takes too much time getting to its core drama. But the performances carry it: Not only are Englert, Goggins, and Colman phenomenal, but even with smaller parts, actors like Jim Gaffigan and Kaitlyn Dever somehow embody rich characters who are trapped in a zealous, all-or-nothing faith. 

by Erik Henriksen
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Credits
Director
Brittany Poulton, Daniel Savage
Cast
Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Olivia Colman

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