Movie Review: The Last Sin EaterQuick Plot Summary: A girl in 1850's Appalachia is filled with guilt and longing for her mother's love. She seeks forgiveness from the "Sin Eater" who is a local character that "takes away" their sins, but discovers the "Ultimate Sin Eater".
Suggested Ages: 13+
This movie tells a very unusual, unique story that will likely hold your interest, even if it does get a bit predictable in places. It is well-made and has some pretty good acting. Visuals, directing, music score, acting - all were very good.
This movie is a showcase of how we all need forgiveness in our lives and need a "sin eater". That's pretty much the message of the movie, and it portrays that message fairly well, wrapped up in a unique, entertaining story.
If you have children, you do need to know that the story is darker than you might expect, with violence that I really don't believe is appropriate for younger viewers - especially because there is violence against children. In my opinion, this is NOT "family friendly" if your family has children under 13. Its PG-13 rating is probably pretty accurate.
My only real concern with this movie is in relation to the "conversion" scene, which is the most critical scene in the movie. It bothered me because it is so watered down. The girl supposedly believed in Jesus and "received" His forgiveness and I guess by extension supposedly "accepted" Him, yet she didn't even know His name until after-the-fact. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Yet, in this most critical scene of the movie, the preacher/missionary forgoes reading from the Bible or using the Bible to plainly tell her about Jesus (he starts by reading it but not really using it to plainly teach her) and instead merely has her recount her sin. There's no real discussion of who Jesus is (beyond a one-liner or so) - no mention of really discussing why there is sin and a need for Jesus - why it was final - why there is no more need for a "sin eater", etc. In other words, she really didn't hear much to even have a basis for having any faith in Jesus...which the last time I checked my Bible was an important part of the conversion process. This would have been much more effective if the preacher, after realizing he wasn't reaching her with his stoic reading from the Bible, instead just simplified his approach by explaining the Scriptures in plain English that the girl COULD understand by meeting her on her level, rather than doing what he did which seemed to be to just set aside the Word of God altogether. This was the critical scene to the movie and the key part was over in a VERY short period of time, without nearly the expounding needed to really make the connection to Jesus as the ultimate "sin eater".
But if you can look past this admitedly large boo-boo, this movie still has much value as a showcase of how we all need forgiveness in our lives and need a "sin eater" and is an enjoyable (and suspenseful) watch.
Reviewed by Christopher Long,