The cumulative effect suggests a world in which murder, desperation and operatic levels of tragedy are workaday (one town is actually called Cut and Shoot). As well as losing her brother and mother in the attacks, one woman tells how she also lost almost every other member of her family (plus dog) in a variety of colourful accidents, suicides and slayings in the six years beforehand. She unplugged her phone soon afterwards: “I just couldn’t handle another call.”
…What you’d like more of is the men at the centre of the crime, for Herzog to grapple directly with their obfuscations, their religious conversions. Yet they remain opaque, behind their glass panes and grills, just as the pregnancy of one of their wives (who fell for him while working on his appeal) stays mysterious. But these are the kind of surrealities Herzog also does best. He coaxes stories of mysterious monkey attacks and ravenous alligators from the least likely places, lingers in auto graveyards, where impounded vehicles – including the one which motivated these murders – sit until tree roots spring up next to the gearstick. For something with such a morbid draw, Into the Abyss leaves you startled by life. (The Guardian UK)
Poster after the cut.