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When outlaws on the lam invade the home of an unsuspecting, seemingly innocent, frontier family to hide out for the night, an unexpected game of cat and mouse ensues, leading to seduction, role reversal, and ultimately, bloody revenge.
Chad Michael Murray,
An ambitious but flawed film that is average at best.
Regrettably, the great genre of film that is the Western struggles mightily in our present time. Most Westerns are now low-budget, like The Duel, but that does not mean that it should be written off (I was pleasantly surprised that the recent release Forsaken was a decent Western). There are some positives in this film, yet negatives are rampant and I will note the primary ones.
This film features a decent cast and an interesting story which involves an investigation surrounding missing people and an occult leader that has come to control the hearts and minds of the people of a small Texas town. However, besides a respectable performance by Liam Hemsworth, the cast is mediocre and forgettable with Woody Harrleson topping the list as being a cliché villain with forgettable, pretentious faux-intellectual dialogue.
The action is average at best, and above all else there is a feeling that the writers or producers wanted to inject their opinion regarding the current treatment of Mexicans (something a reviewer on Roger Ebert's website noted) into a script already bogged down with murder, missing persons, revenge, a husband-wife relationship, a mysterious town, and a religious occult leader. It is subtle. However, it seemed out of place and unnecessary but that does not stop Hollywood from forcing a narrative or agenda into a movie, does it?
Overall, this is a movie that had promise, but sub-par acting and a feeling that it did not know which plot point should receive the most attention weakened the film as a whole. If you like Westerns, you may find it more alluring because of the genre. Nevertheless, it is a one time watch that struggles and does not contribute anything of great worth.
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