LET HIM GO is a new movie starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. No it’s not a MAN OF STEEL prequel, thought you’d be forgiven for thinking that as they play nearly identical characters as Johnathan and Martha (WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?!) Kent.
No this is a much darker movie that knows how to keep ratcheting up the suspense. I found it more unnerving than an over the top horror movie like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The bad guys’ creep factor in this really makes your skin crawl.
It’s also a period piece taking place somewhere around 1960 which makes sense as most of these problems are solved these days by modern technology. It works well for the story being told. There’s nothing woke in this, nor is it trying to show how awful we were back in the day. It’s simply a personal story about these two families and what we are willing to do for those we love, living or dead.
Costner and Lane play George and Margaret Blackledge who raise horses with their son and daughter-in-law and their new grandbaby. A tragic accident kills their son and the widow then marries a man, Donny Weboy, who isn’t very good to her or her son. Lane witnesses some abuse but before anything can be done about, the new family leave town with no forwarding address, warning, or even a good-bye.
Margaret and George decide to find them to make sure their grandson is ok. The following tale is a slow burn of suspense that continues getting worse and worse for everyone involved. The plot can be forgiven for getting a little absurd at the end because the acting is so good from everyone involved. Lane and Costner put enough into their dialogue that you almost have to cut through all the layers of emotion. The Weboy clan is headed by Lesley Manville who keeps her family together though sheer force of will. Her eldest son Bill is played by Jeffrey Donovan with just the right amount of charisma and creepiness.
Honestly, I’m not sure I would’ve known about this movie and probably wouldn’t have gone see it if my wife hadn’t pushed me. I’m glad she did. I found myself carried along with the performances to the end.
Also of note, the theater while not crowded, had improved attendance which is nice to see. After TENET, I wasn’t sure if anyone would go anymore but there is still some pent-up demand. Let’s hope Christmas is salvageable.