If we are honest, whilst we at Barking Mad About Films will happily watch anything, the Western maybe our least favourite genre. However we liked The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, 2 horror films from director Ti West, so when we heard he had directed a western called In A Valley of Violence, we decided to check it out.
The film follows Paul (Ethan Hawke) a drifter, trying to make his way to the border of Mexico with his horse and dog Abby (played by Jumpy)
On his travels, he comes across a priest (Burn Gorman) who is on his way to a town called Denton. The priest tries to steal the horse but Paul & Abby put a stop to that and decide to check out the town, to wash up and rest before their final trip to Mexico.
At the bar, Gilly (James Ransone) challenges Paul to a fight, which he declines. Gilly then tries to approach Abby but before he can, Paul knocks him out with a single punch.
He heads to the nearest Inn, run by Gilly’s fiancée Ellen (Karen Gillan) and her sister Mary-Anne (Taissa Farmiga) who is thrilled someone has stood up to Gilly and offers him food and rest as well as a much needed bath to thank him.
Paul, is later visited by Clyde (John Travolta), the Town Marshal and father of Gilly.
Clyde is aware that Paul is an ex-soldier and in return for not reporting on him, asks him to leave Denton and never return, which he agrees to.
As Paul and Abby rest for the night, they are attacked by Gilly and his gang; Roy (Larry Fessenden); Harris (Toby Huss) and Tubby (Tommy Nohilly)
The gang leave Paul for dead, throwing him from the cliffs but not before they kill Abby in front of him. For her time on screen, audiences will love Abby for all the tricks and gestures she has done so this will hurt almost as the dog killing in John Wick!
But like John Wick, Paul wants revenge and heads back to Denton to seek it, which will see the gang learning they seriously messed with the wrong person and they will be killed, as well as anyone who tries to stop him including Clyde!
The film, a kind of mash-up between John Wick and First Blood, the first film for Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo was better than the Magnificent Seven high profile big budget remake which came out around the same time, and also starred Hawke.
Hawke and Travolta are both excellent in their roles, added by a great support cast, our only gripe is the real star of the show, Jumpy as Abby is taken away from us before the end of the film.
You can watch the trailer here:
You can find the film at Amazon here:
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