Take Me to the River ★★★½

A gay teen from California spends time with homophobe redneck relatives in Nebraska, and is soon falsely accused of child molestation. What follows is tension and despair, dread and paranoia, as a dark power game begins. Teen boy Ryder is up against uncle Keith (one of the most intimidating persons to ever grace the silver screen), and this family reunion goes horribly wrong.

”Take Me to the River” is some sort of Southern Gothic, uncomfy as hell, and I liked it a lot. In only 84 minutes, debut director Matt Sobel builds tension which is pretty close to what Michael Haneke and John Boorman do in ”Funny Games” and ”Deliverance”. There’s some dark psychology going on here, like using negative space to invite the audience to read their own fears and assumptions into the story. Quite disturbing.

Good stuff!