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Fantasia Film Festival 2016: In A Valley of Violence Review


Before I get into this one, I must first give a big shout out to the 8 minute, 2016 short LIMBO by Will Blank that preceeded the main feature. A very quick look into this alternate reality where wish granting dogs exist and regrets are far too real. I really wanted to stay here and explore more of this mystical land but before I could park my brain-car, it was time to get on with the show.

Valley:  Look, I'm not crazy about Westerns. And this is not coming out of a place of judgement but one of inexperience. As an out-worlder, my small dives into this genre can be easily accounted in the forms of last year's Hateful Eight (by the great Quentin Tarantino) and my limited exposure to Jonah Hex comics. In this not quite so star studded but star sprinkled feature, the most obvious thing right away is the rain of tropes. From the constantly berated saloon girls to the pride filled and very dumb sherrif's son to the man's man tougher then nails deadly serious outsider by trade bad ass gun slinger. Speaking of, God Damn Ethan Hawke does NOT decay. I may be wrong but I've marked an oberservation about modern westerns. And that is they are typically a hybrid of genres. This'n here was an action packed comedy for example. There are too many memorable roles and moments so I'll try recounting a couple. Such as the now immortal Toby Speech. The wise old owl, peace seeker John Travolta character.  And of course Karen Gillan who has two asses and zero brain in her role. An entertaining draw that has a glistening of men of honor. And the dog who howled his last. Also, that death dance to the tune of flying bullets from both sides had us all in fits. Worth enough to check out for that. - Ous Zaim


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