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Diablo (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Lawrence Roeck

Starring:
Scott Eastwood/Jackson
Walton Goggins/Ezra
Camilla Belle/Alexandra
Danny Glover/Benjamin
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A group of Mexican hoodlums kidnap Jackson's (Scott Eastwood) wife, he locks and loads and goes after them. With that, there's more than meets the eye going on here.
THE LOWDOWN

How the hell did I just hear about DIABLO (WATCH IT HERE) for the first time only last week? It's a typical Western, but one that tosses horror tropes into its mix. It also stars the son of one of the most iconic cowboys of all time - yes I speak of Clint Eastwood. Whoever is marketing this sucka should be shit canned! With that gunned your way, is DIABLO worth your time? Well for me… it was!

It should be noted that I am a huge fan of the Western subgenre, hence anytime a solid Cowboy flick comes out, I'm there with 6-shooters on! DIABLO did it all right when it came to communicating the classic Western elements. The initial premise was right out of THE SEARCHERS, the mountain-ish/at time snow laced scenery breathtaking (they shot the picture in beautiful Alberta, Canada) the gunfights were ample and we had a hero we could root for. To say that the filmmakers didn't go out of their way to make Scott Eastwood look like his old man in his cowboy heydays would be naive. The squint, the beard, the jawline, the clothes... it was freaking uncanny how much Scott looked like his Pops. But for me the similarities ended there. Scott Eastwood did his own thing and gave an earnest, likeable and eventually complex performance, one that I appreciated.

I’ve read some reviews out there that knocked the dude's stint in this one, I’m not sure what movie they were watching, but he aced it in my book. Moreover, Eastwood had top-notch support from the scene stealing Walton Goggins who gave a sinister/charismatic performance, Danny "I refuse to age" Glover who's always a welcomed presence, the always solid Adam Beach and Camilla Belle who shined in her small yet memorable role. Add to all that an endearing action driven nature (there was little dialogue here for the most part – I liked that), impactful visual choices by Lawrence Roeck (loved those top-shots) and his DP Dean Cundey , a somewhat (all about the whistle) Ennio Morricone inspired score (by Kirpatrick Thomas and Tim Williams) and a mystery that often had me by the dynamite stick and you get a slick little horror Western that gave me a buck and a half of fly entertainment. So what was my problem with it then?

Well there was of course something other than the obvious going on here; otherwise I wouldn't be covering the movie. And although the idea had been done before, it wasn't the lack of originality in terms of said spin that put me off - it was the execution. I didn’t feel that the film made the most of it underlying layer and worst of all it communicated in it in a clumsy and unclear fashion therefore diminishing the impact of it all. That led to the story ending mucho abruptly; so as the end credits rolled I didn't feel like the film was over i.e. I was left hanging. But hey that's just my opinion, reading around online I see that others didn’t feel the same way. Other than that some of the acting early on was a pinch weak but that got rectified fairly quickly – so no sweat off my horse.

On the whole, I dug DIABLO and recommend it to anybody that LOVES Westerns with a macabre jive tagged to them. Not as good as it should have been taking into account its ideas but worth a watch that’s for sure! DRAW!

GORE
We get gun shot wounds, corpses and a slit throat.
T & A
Nope!
BOTTOM LINE
DIABLO was a fast paced, sumptuous looking and dialogue-light horror Western. Scott Eastwood did his old man proud! Although he looked like his dad circa his Cowboy days, he thankfully did his own thing as our "hero" gunslinger. Furthermore the supporting cast was solid (Danny Glover, Walton Goggins, Adam Beach), the classic Western ingredients esteemed by yours truly and the flick pimped out enough action get-downs to make this sucker happy. Alas, the manner in which the horror elements were handled didn't fully work for me; too muddled and not explored deeply enough to whoop me. The same went for the abrupt ending - it left me on my appetite. I am happy that I saw this bad-boy though, like I said before, it's worth at least one watch. NOTE: I am suddenly in the mood to watch High Plains Drifter again! GREAT F-ING MOVIE
BULL'S EYE
This was Scott Eastwood's first Western!

This was Lawrence Roeck's second feature. He did The Forger in 2012 starring Josh Hutcherson and Alfred Molina.
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