Quick observation to kick things off: The story structure is classic Hero’s Journey:

Separation: Chris departs his city life, accompanying Rose to the Extraordinary World — her parents’ home.

Initiation: Chris experiences the paranoia and unfolding Hell of Dean and Missy’s weird little world at the Armitage estate.

Return: Once Chris turns away from Armitage family including Rose, he moves in the direction of going home, capped off when he’s picked up by Rod.

There’s a kind of Dante’s Inferno feel to the story as Chris descends further and further into his suspicions about the place and the people, then quite literally into the Sunken Place. There’s even a corollary to the Christ story: “He descended into Hell. The third day, he rose from the dead.”

One of the brilliant aspects of the script and movie is how it plays with both racial stereotypes and tropes, AND mythic elements so that the specifics of the plot echo more deeply with moviegoers through their universality.

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