In a Valley of Violence
Sponsored by SuperClub Vidéotron
Official Selection: SXSW 2016
“Bloody, cruel, and absolutely hilarious” – Randall Colburn, CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
“A solid entry in a genre gradually fading from mainstream cinema” – Charlie Schmidlin, INDIEWIRE
A shadowy drifter (Ethan Hawke) and his dog journey through the deserts of the Old West on their way to Mexico, making a terrible mistake in taking a shortcut through Denton, a small and largely forgotten mining town that many in the region have begun to unaffectionately refer to as “a valley of violence.” Numerous townsfolk have left for safer or more promising havens. Most of who remained are criminals, bullies, hustlers and idiots. Our drifter soon crosses paths with the town marshal’s distinctly lawless son, and all hell begins to break loose, setting forth cycles of vengeance and violence that will significantly reduce Denton’s already-dwindling population and leave the desert earth saturated with blood.
After essentially mastering the art of slow-burn, dread-dripping horror with such celebrated works as HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, THE INNKEEPERS and THE SACRAMENT, maverick filmmaker Ti West has turned his eye to the Western. Riffing on Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci and an arsenal of mixed genre faves (A BOY AND HIS DOG comes immediately to mind), and armed to the teeth with a cast that also includes Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Larry Fessenden, Karen Gillan and an especially villainous-and-loving-it John Travolta — not to mention an astoundingly well-trained canine — West has delivered a witty, tense and grisly film that simultaneously looks forwards and backwards, with an enthusiasm that is palpable.
— Mitch Davis