First Reformed 09/04/18
Paul Schrader’s austere, intense thriller is billed as a return to the director’s ‘transcendental’ roots, although we suspect he never really left them at all. Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried and Victoria Hall immerse us in a country pastor’s dreadful impulse to act on spiritual values and strike back against evil. The mix of Robert Bresson style and slightly ‘Taxi Driver’ suspense plotting leads us to fear an exploitation apocalypse at the finale… but Schrader surprises us, mercifully. On Blu-ray from Lionsgate.