Cert 15 Stars 2

Rattlesnakes, guns and god are a poisonous mix in this soggy and leaden drama which is optimistically described as a thriller, but it lacks the necessary tension to keep us entertained.

In an Appalachian mountain redneck community the daughter of a local pastor is torn between marrying a suitor with a strong faith, or running away with the godless man she loves, a situation complicated by her secret pregnancy.

A great cast includes Brit Oscar queen Olivia Colman, regular Hollywood villain Walton Goggins, and upcoming star Alice Englert, who all give strong performances, but they’re weighed down by a pious script which seems to consider smiling, humour or levity to be a sin.

Plus there’s a lack of melodrama which would have made it more compelling, the pace is slow, the tone is one-note, and the film demands our sympathy for the characters without giving us any reason to like them.