This refreshingly well-realized modern-day Gothic is conveyed with washed-out color, stark open landscapes, crowded interiors and intriguing characterizations. Katherine is the young girl brought in to an isolated farmhouse to do char work. She quickly becomes a lifeline to Hester, who lives there alone with her increasingly senile father. The freedom afforded by his death is soon compromised by dwindling income and Hester's increasing dependence on Katherine, a stranger who before long is her primary relationship. Katherine's progressive encroachment and Hester's emotional naivetÃ© collide and rupture when a tragic accident exacerbates the building tensions in this dynamic. The underlying eerie elements that lurk just below the surface come to the fore when the two women conspire to cover up a crime. Effective, crisp direction guides this unsettling, atmospheric thriller to a satisfying resolution.
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