In a Valley of Violence (2016)
In a Valley of Violence sees horror director Ti West taking an admirable if formulaic genre aboutface to dabble in the dusty Old West. Pacier than the slow-burning horrors he’s usually known for (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers), the film is a straight-up, no-frills B-western, with a dog-revenge plot that many viewers will find similar to John Wick. Few surprises are in store for veteran western buffs, but they will probably still find much to like about its unambitious straightforwardness. Ethan Hawke is in enjoyably flinty, laconic Eastwood-esque form playing a drifter up against James Ransome’s one-note blowhard moron. There’s also fine, lively support from Taissa Farmiga as a young widow who befriends Hawke, and John Travolta as Ransome’s marshal father. Jeff Grace’s score apes Morricone’s operatic twang superbly, lending urgency to the drama.