Friday, January 9, 2015

Film on Friday #32 - The Dark Valley

The Dark Valley is newly released from Film Movement.

Sam Riley (yes, you just saw him in Maleficent) stars as Greider, a mysterious American man who rides into an isolated mountain village in Austria. He says he's there to take photographs, but of course there's another reason. The dominant family who seem to run the village also have their own secrets and reasons for wanting him gone.

The Dark Valley is a classic Western with revenge as the impetus. The Dark Valley is based on the book of the same name by Thomas Willmann.

Sam Riley has perfected the sneer, the hundred yard stare and glare, the few words and decisive actions that cement the genre label attached to the film. (One or two scenes may have been a little over the top, but he channeled early Clint Eastwood very well) The supporting players were well cast and suitably menacing or subservient as the case may be.

The scenery was absolutely breathtaking the village, homes and costumes were very well done and absolutely believable.

What affected my rating a bit was the dubbing. It wasn't overly well done and I find the voices used never seem to match the voice the actor really has or that I expect. And it's difficult to match the pacing.  I should have switched back to the original German with subtitles earlier. Although, there wasn't a lot of dialogue - much of the film is action based (v. well done)

But that minor flaw aside, The Dark Valley was an excellent film - I quite enjoyed it.

The bonus film included, The Gunslinger' was priceless! It's set in an old-time saloon filled with familiar characters. But it is the voice over narrator controlling what happens. Quite funny and original.
2014    114 minutes

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