We all want our fathers to love us

The most important thing is the castle: Jakarah Smith and McKayley Miller…

Warden: Hannah Macpherson

It’s a little unhappy.  The last film of the first year of Hulu In the Dark is dedicated to Father’s Day and Daughter’s Day, which is certainly not an officially recognized holiday in a calendar, but I love my daughters, so I allow it, and that is exactly the film we have.

Don’t get me wrong, PURE isn’t a bad movie.  It is a pity that the story of fathers and daughters has to tell how fathers force their daughters to go to a cleansing camp where they eventually sign a contract to remain virgins until they are married, and that the relationship between fathers and daughters is so contradictory, which is not the case for me.  And I understand that this film is about these girls coming out of the shadow of their fathers’ influence.  But still.  A father-daughter day should be a good day when bad things happen to fathers and daughters and fathers and daughters work together to defeat the beast.  I’m just saying…

In the film, writer/director Hannah McPherson (SICKHOUSE) Shay (Jahkara Smith, NOS4A2) has just started a new relationship with her father, whom she never met when she went to cleanup camp with him and Joe (McKayley Miller, Massachusetts), Shay’s new sister.  And even if it’s Neck’s first time, Joe’s been here before and it’s over.  Lacey (Chiaro Bravo, Big Time Throw) and Kellyann (Annalisa Cochrane, Cobra Caye) form the rest of cabin 4, and we have our main distribution.  There is also Reverend Seth, Lacey’s father, who carries a gun on his thigh and insists that girls wave too easily for their own good and should be cared for by their dominant fathers.

One night, after the lights are out, Joe takes the other girls from cabin 4 to an empty cabin, probably near the camp, where she meets her boyfriend Jack and her friends Gabe and Ryan.  Gabe loves Shay, but Shay is in the process of finding a pen to complete the invocation ritual of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, which Father Seth seems to tell every year with great pleasure as the camp begins.

You see, the girls are here in the camp because their fathers left them no choice and, like Joe says: We all want our fathers to love us. But these girls are human girls who have their own thoughts, and sometimes the girls just want to have fun, and sometimes that fun doesn’t consist of daily sermons in which they are told over and over what dirty little whores they could be if it weren’t for the eternal watchful eyes of their fathers on earth and in heaven.

And, hey, as a father I’m all for purity and saving myself for marriage, but as a father you don’t treat your daughters that way.

So the tension in PURE stems from the resentment each daughter feels towards her father, and McPherson causes the four girls to have different conflicts.  With Lacey, she has the ideal of living as the vicar’s daughter.  For Kellyanne, her father controls every movement, makes her count calories and gets her up at 5 a.m. to go jogging.  Her father was having an affair with Joe and he moved into their house with his new daughter. Now he’s talking about purity and saving for marriage?  A lot of hypocrites?

Shay tries to find his way in this new world, while having nightmares about a mysterious woman in a black veil.

Oh, and did I say they’re performing a ritual to call Lilith?  Really?  Okay, cool. Just checking.  So Shay has these visions everywhere she sees this creepy woman…

Yeah, you can find the rest.

I liked PURE, and I can appreciate it as a horror movie, but the relationship between these fathers and their daughters is so strange to my experience with mine that it seems almost impossible.  I was, as they say, incapable of stopping my disbelief.  Or rather, my disbelief was born out of the fact that I couldn’t believe that so many fathers from the same place had such a terrible relationship with so many girls from the same place.

Again, it’s quite possible that I’m not a PURE spectator.  Maybe my daughters had a different opinion.  Wait, no, scratch it.  My eldest daughter looked at him and said: Hmm, yeah, the father-daughter relationship isn’t so good, and the youngest daughter was very worried about her horror, so she’s not even allowed to look at her. Whether it’s the right audience or not, this is the film I was allowed to watch and see, and here are my comments: PURE is a good film with gripping performances and a scary message if you’re the target audience.  For those of you who are not a girl with a strained relationship with her father, you will probably enjoy the movie, but it will not keep you awake at night or change your attitude in a measurable way.  It’s a movie.  I think so.

More in the dark

Body… flesh and blood… Pooka! # ¶ New year, new you ¶ Downstairs ¶ All I do is go with you ¶ All we do is go with you ¶ All we destroy ¶ They come to strike ¶


C. Dennis Moore is the author of more than 60 stories and novels in the genre of speculative fiction. The most recent publications have appeared in the anthologies Dark Highlands 2, What Fears Occurence, Dead Bait 3 and Dark Highways. His novels – Revelations, Angel Hill, Man in the Window, Third Floor, Flip.

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