All the necessary Southern Gothic elements: Eerie music, misty river, angry father, abused mother/sister, ghosts, slaves, hangings and, yes, incest. What would the South be without it? Shit twice and fall back in it. The only thing missing is dueling banjos and a satisfying ending. (Even Deliverance offered up a satisfying ending.) Enjoyed it up until the last 15 minutes but well worth it until then. (Isn't that what Burt Reynolds said?) On a serious note, I'm still captivated by Geeshie Wiley's haunting voice and lyrics. They were my favorite part of the movie.
Meanwhile here's a few alternative endings:
1. Eli cuts Amanda down from the tree and they both fall into the rabbit hole and drink tea with the Mad Hatter who looks suspiciously like one of the Allman brothers.
2. Eli cuts Amanda down from the tree but in the process impales himself on one of her brittle bones due to her lactose intolerance when she was alive.
3. Eli never cuts Amanda down but instead carves their initials into the tree bark and decorates her bones with festive lights.
4. Eli leaves Amanda hanging but cuts the tree down and NO ONE ever hears it fall.
5. Burt Reynolds (wearing an I heart Loni Anderson T- shirt) shows up and mounts the incestuous brother never once mentioning his mouth.