(Review originally written at 26 January 2009)

Well, horror combined with western always sounds like an interesting and potentially effective combination to me but I'm still waiting for the perfect movie that is able to combine the two genres effectively and uses the best from both genres. It's the type of horror movie that implies more than that it actually shows. The danger of overdoing this is that it becomes totally ineffective after a while. This also happens with this movie.

The movie also isn't being helped much by all of its other elements though. It's a very slow paced movie, that doesn't develop either its story or characters well enough. The story is kept very simple. Too simple. It relies purely on its main concept on a bunch of confederate soldier outlaws taking shelter in an old deserted house in the middle of nowhere, after they robbed the bank in a nearby town. Of course strange things start to happen in the house and people start to die under unusual circumstances, one by one. There isn't much else to the story really and the movie doesn't use any of its mystery, to strengthen its horror. It relies more on its dark atmosphere and slow pace but this rather makes the movie dull and uninteresting than original, scary and/or exciting really. The movie also keeps repeating itself too much with its story and scare moments. Also in the end the story, especially concerning its why's and how's are being left unanswered, which will leave you with an unsatisfying impression afterward.

In these days of modern horror this movie simply doesn't stand out well enough. It doesn't come up with anything new and original and even as a standard generic movie this movie is too lacking to leave a significant enough impression.

Yeah well, it's a good looking movie, that certainly doesn't have a cheap look over it, despite its low budget. It has a good, though formulaic, visual horror style. It's good looking with its effects, make-up and gore as well, though I need to say that the movie is unnecessary gory, at the totally wrong moments (for example during the bank robbery).

You also just never care enough about any of the characters within the movie, also since basically each of them are murdering thieves, that are not to be trusted in any way. The potentially best and most interesting characters of the movie are getting killed off at first, which is very typical. The movie does feature some good and also quite well known actors (Henry Thomas, Mark Boone Junior, Isaiah Washington) but they have basically very little interesting to do in this movie, due to its weak script. It's quite silly really once you start to think about it; the characters can all basically leave at any given moment once the terrifying and unusual things start to happen and their buddies are disappearing without a trace but yet none of them thinks about leaving, until it's too late of course.

Nothing too horrible, just too lacking and not interesting or refreshing enough as a modern genre movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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