MovieChat Forums > Take Me to the RiverĀ (2015) Discussion > Does no one else think...(spoiler)

Does no one else think...(spoiler)


This might be a reach, but there was more to this story than the obvious and the insinuated. I believe the mother and uncle had an incestuous relationship, which the uncle then had with his daughter, Molly, but what did she mean when she asked Ryder if it was true that his father wasn't his real father? Or when she said her family wasn't her real family? That was never resolved, so I'm left wondering. Was it something the uncle told his daughter to make the sexual abuse less disgusting? Or, and this is a stretch, did the mom really leave town to get away from an abusive father who got her pregnant, with Ryder, and that's what Molly meant? Did the father leave her money because he felt guilty, and that's why the uncle hates her so much?

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I honestly don't know. I came here to get answers! Lol
It seems obvious that there was an incestuous relationship between Ryder's Mom and his Uncle.
And it would seem that the mother was the aggressor. Even tho she was younger I'm guessing she got on his shoulders to play chicken in the water and she would grind on him. This made her feel good but confused her brother. Maybe he eventually came to like it in a strange way but it screwed him up in the head.
So this would explain why Molly's dad was so quick to jump to the conclusion that Ryder had abused his daughter Molly.
So to somehow "get back" at his sister he decides to scare Ryder and mess with his head.
Because he was a victim of abuse, he became an abuser himself (which happens sometimes) and he does sexual things with Molly and maybe even all his daughters. I'm guessing he plays the game chicken with Molly - she gets on his shoulders and he tells her to grind into his neck.

What I don't understand is why he basically offers up
his own daughter to Ryder? We see him whisper in her ear. I'm assuming he told her to take a detour and bring Ryder to the lake and "play chicken" with him.
We clearly see her rubbing against him.
WHY would Molly's father do that? I mean he's obviously screwed up but he already thought Ryder was abusing his daughter so why tell her to basically seduce him?
Then you bring up the point about Ryder's dad not really being his Dad?
I enjoyed the film for its performances and it held my attention but there's just too much unexplained

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There could be a few answers to why Molly's dad let her go out swimming with Ryder...

If they had some kind of 'incestuous' encounters with Ryder's mom, perhaps he felt traumatised by it. Basically, she was the initiator of those games, and Keith, not being bright enough to cope with it all, later blamed his sister for it, although he enjoyed it too. When he grew conscious enough to understand the wrongness of their actions, and not being able to deal with that, he simply put the blame on her. She left, because she "felt better than the rest of them". So THIS was all Keith's twisted plan to get back his sister's Californian family. To involve Ryder and confuse him too, make him feel guilty and dirty, and not "better than them". Just like Keith's sister did to him. Whether Molly's dad planned it or went along when he realised about the chicken-fight repeating with his daughter and Ryder - is another question.

If that's he case, another sub-question here is - does Keith feel bad only because what they did with his sister, or he's hinting (to his sister, his "partner in crime") that their actions made him into a (sorry!) chicken-fight addict of sorts and he started doing it with Molly? In that way it's somewhat (sadly) ironic that it's Keith, not Ryder, who eventually came out.

But I wouldn't want to believe there's this darkness in the movie, simply because it ended so lightly, with Bowie's voice singing Underpressure.

Maybe it's just that Keith noticed Molly's 'weird' (it is to him) behaviour earlier, before they came, and he got a little worried - that his sister's behaviour is repeating with Molly. Imagine Keith's shock when his own daughter would start rubbing against him, just like with his sister in their childhood (or teen years?) And then it's the family reunion and it happens again with Ryder... Perhaps, it's not even "revenge", maybe rather just "now feel the shame I feel and live with it". In that way, of course without caring enough about his daughter who could be traumatised by these weird games, he wants Ryder to fall into that rabbit hole of confusion.

Another theory is that he simply wanted to test Ryder. Perhaps he was sneaking up on them and was in control (anyway, Molly ran away from Ryder and returned to her dad as instructed). He was testing Ryder in the dining room, in Molly's room, and down the river. He made sure before Ryder "trusted" him, as in - trusted that Keith could/would harm him if he found out Ryder's been perversive. He wanted to make sure, to himself, that this was just a weird misunderstanding, that it doesn't correlate with whatever wrong they did with his sister. He needed to know, so this was his awkward Robert de Niro of Meet the Parents method.

Of course, it all could mean far more sinister things. That Keith is abusive with Molly. That he and his sister did more than "chicken-fight". That Ryder could be Keith's son. If latter is true then it explains Keith's "concerned" behaviour when Ryder is drawing Molly a picture and his explosive reaction when he realised his worst fears may have come true and Ryder, his son, could be involved in something sexual with Molly, Ryder's sister.

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There is, sadly, too much information that needs to be telegraphed to bring adequate closure. And in a movie like this, it just does not work out. The final analysis is, Who cares? Given the half-baked plot lines that are incomprehensible, this project needed a coda to provide clues to why the filmmaker even bothered to make it.

Was mom incestuously involved with uncle?
Is Ryder a product of incest?
Was the grandmother involved in incest?
Were the Nebraskans all simple perverts?
Was the cousin a victim of sexual abuse?
Were the mom and uncle sexually abused?
Et cetera

So many unresolved story lines in such a small flick means the filmmaker did not do his job.

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Was mom incestuously involved with uncle?
Is Ryder a product of incest?
Was the grandmother involved in incest?
Were the Nebraskans all simple perverts?
Was the cousin a victim of sexual abuse?
Were the mom and uncle sexually abused?


Yes, he mentions it.
Most likely, from the way Molly talks.
No, I think Grandma was just the person they had to hide it from.
No, but people care about gossip in small towns so it makes sense
She had to be, otherwise how'd she learn it and how'd the dad know about the river?
I don't think so, seems like the mom started it innocently exploring and it turned into a huge cycle of abuse.

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