Pure, 2019 – ★★★

Buoyed by a great performance from Jahkara Smith, Pure is Midsommar-Lite, exploring the evils of cultish behavior on home turf instead of afar and remote. Pure takes the story of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, and uses it as a flaming feminist sword, as several young women work their ways out from under their fathers’ controlling thumbs. It’s stylish to a fault, and wears its influences on its sleeves, but is never clear about what’s actually going on with Lilith, or behind the scenes of the Purity Community (in my opinion, far scarier). That’s alright, though, because the climax, while brief, feels cathartic. Note to filmmakers, the extended smile is WAY overplayed at this point, better have a good reason to use it.

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