In A Valley Of Violence

Where I Watched it: Netflix

English Audio Description Provided By: Nicol Sansorella

One of those random out of nowhere reviews. Honestly, I likely would have continued to pass up on this film until i noticed that it was directed by Ti West. I wanted to see what he had in the tank when not making a straight up horror film. The idea that West was making a revenge western was almost as intriguing as that time Eli Roth made the family friendly The house With A Clock In It’s Walls. When a director becomes synonymous with a specific genre, it can be rewarding to see them bring a very different style to something unexpected.

Or, Ti West can just make a bloody western. In a weird way, this is one of those revenge thrillers coming out of a growing sub-genre, where you don’t mess with a man’s dog. And in this sleepy town, Ethan Hawke is back to get his pound of flesh from a bunch of guys who don’t hear the word “No” very often.

It’s violent, as the title sugggest, but in a horror movie way, where almost every death is far more brutal than your average western. West figures that if he can’t do a horror film, he’ll bring as much of that to the table for this western as possible. And, so he does.

The performances here are the weakest part of the film. Hawke is OK, playing the vengeance angle very well. I also didn’t have too much of a problem with the supporting ladies, Taissa Farmiga and Karen Gillan. Honestly, even John Travolta surprisingly didn’t drag this film down. Everyone else? Well, you get what you pay for. Especially the actor playing Travolta’s hot headed villain son. Send him to an acting coach.

The audio description does do a pretty solid job of describing the film almost like a horror movie. hawke does a lot of creeping around and lurking. Some deaths are sudden, not full jump scares, just sudden, and the narration doesn’t telegraph the surprise. And since West loves to have these characters die in the worst ways, the narration does tap into that a little as well.

I guess, considering I haven’t enjoyed most of West’s body of work, that this was a pleasant surprise for me, though I also don’t need to ever see this again.

Final Grade: B-

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