alex’s review published on Letterboxd:
covington's return to past resembles the use of God-given commandments in major religions. both are ways of ensuring the goodness of humanity. the different manifestations emerge from what is believed to be man's true nature. in covington's case, inherent goodness is assumed and the material aspects of existence are what corrupt the soul, compared to the concept of original sin. functionally, however, these beliefs remain the same. holiness is exclusive to those who follow either system, making the mental scars from evil the elders possess more instrumental in keeping covington's residents outside of the towns, and within the faith, than stories about creatures in the woods. ivy's realization of the fraudulence of the myths she was raised on is not enough to shatter her. no moral conflicts surface as she deceives other young members of her community; she too is acting for the greater good, and the wickedness of humanity still lurks. instead, her moment of reflection comes when she interacts with a ranger outside of the woods. "you have kindness in your voice. i did not expect that", a testament to how beholden ivy was to the pain of the elders in her community. conceiving goodness outside of the bounds of covington was an impossibility; now she has to reckon with the implications of experiencing it in a place that allegedly contains nothing but depravity. more than anything, it is our lack of faith in others that keeps us enslaved.