Review: BrimstoneBrimstone by Martin Koolhoven
Released by Paradiso Entertainment on 12 January 2017
Genres: Thriller
Length: 2h 28m
Source: Seen in cinema
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Kit Harington, Carice van Houten, Guy Pearce, Emilia Jones, Ivy George

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From the moment the new reverend climbs the pulpit, Liz knows she and her family are in great danger.

As a Christmas present, I told my mum she could pick out any movie she wanted to see, and I would take her to that movie. At first, we’d decided on Collateral Beauty, but the closest cinema was showing it at some shitty times. Eventually, mum picked Brimstone, a movie I hadn’t really heard much about but had been curious about as well.

Brimstone tells us the story of Liz, and her history with a man we only know as The Reverend. Divided into four chapters, we learn more about why Liz, a mute woman, is so afraid of this man.

As I had said before, my interest in this movie had been rather nonexistent, partly because it felt to me like a very religious movie. As an atheist, I tend to avoid religious movies, because I will most likely just get annoyed by it (no offence, just my opinion). Eventually, I have to admit that though there is a religious undertone, it’s not as ‘bad’ as I had expected.

Cast-wise, this movie was incredible. We had Dakota Fanning playing the role of the mute Liz, which she did really well. I have no idea whether her sign language was accurate, seeing as I don’t ‘speak’ (do you ‘speak’ sign language?) it myself, but I just thought she did an amazing job. There was a little Dutch pride going on with Carice van Houten playing a role, and a small cameo by a very well known Dutch actor (you’ll know it when you see it). Also, I’d like to praise Emilia Jones because she spoke Dutch so well in this movie, I thought at first they had someone else speak the Dutch words for her. But she definitely did it all herself, woohoo!

I think the fact that the movie was directed by a Dutch man that made this movie so good. The third chapter is focused on a group of Dutch immigrants that moved to (I am guessing) America and left the ‘old language’ (aka Dutch) behind. The two churchgoers who got to tell their story were, in fact, Dutch (or Belgian) themselves, which is a lot better than most movies do. Normally in movies when a character speaks Dutch they sound so horrible and more often like a German person than a Dutch person, but this movie did it so so well!

The one thing I didn’t really like about this movie was the strange order in which the story was told. In chapter one, we meet Liz as she lives with her husband and two children in the countryside. Chapter two, we go back in time to Liz’ youth and chapter three is even further back in time. On one hand, I understand why they did it like this, to keep up the suspense surrounding the Reverend, but on the other hand, I found it rather annoying.

There is also a lot of cruelty in this movie, towards humans, children even, but also towards animals. View Spoiler » If you have a weak stomach, I advise you to not watch this movie at all. I personally didn’t mind it so much, but people around were noticeably upset when some of the cruel things happened.

In the end, I really enjoyed Brimstone and if you’re into westerns and thrillers and don’t mind violence that much, definitely check this movie out.

My opinion in one gif: