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Fantasia Review: In a Valley of Violence
Man, does this thing sure slow down and turns into a poor man's version of SAW. The bad guy even tells the victims over the phone that they're going to play a game! I understand that the filmmakers wanted the viewer to feel a real connection to the characters trapped in the dirty, cramped basement, but who really wants to feel that way? I certainly do not. At least things do pick up whenever their abductor calls them on a rotary phone and force them to perform his sadistic requests. I know what he says was supposed to come off as creepy, but Henry Rollins's voice is so recognizable that it took me out of the narrative.
I will say that the actors who play the lead couple, Lindsay Smith and Ryan Kotack, do a fantastic job creating the illusion of real people in peril. Their performances felt so real that I wouldn't be surprised if the director actually locked them in that tight basement for days. It was also pretty impressive how the filmmakers made the best out of their low budget by utilizing a relatively minute setting.
I'm not going to fully recommend this flick because of its snail pace and the depressing series of events that play out. I'm just not a big fan of movies that really make you feel bad and I got that from this one. However, it clearly is not a poorly made film, so if you're really keen on discovering fresh, hardcore acting and enjoy SAW-type movies, then you may want to visit this HOUSE.
Audio English dolby digital.