Texas Killing Fields is a film based on actual events, something that seems to be popular as of late. Well, loosely based, but you get the idea. The movie is directed by Amy Canaan Mann, and stars Sam Worthington of Avatar fame, along with Jeffery Dean Morgan and Chloe Grace Mortez.
Worthington and Morgan play Mike Sounder and Brian Heigh, partners and homicide detectives in a small Texas town who are tracking a serial killer. This killer has picking up women along I-95, and then dumping their mutilated bodies in an old marsh that locals have come to call “the Killing Fields”. Though the case is out of their jurisdiction, Heigh, a former New York City cop, is determined to solve the case, despite his partner’s warnings. Naturally, the killer ends up turning the tables on the detectives and he ends up hunting them, leaving clues at the crime scenes and staying one step ahead of them. To make matters worse, a local girl, Little Anne Sliger (Mortez), goes missing, makng Sounder and Heigh work even harder to both catch the killer and save the girl before time runs out.
From that plot description alone, you can tell that this movie doesn’t really have anything that hasn’t been seen before in any other film of this type. You got a series of gruesome murders, a pair of detectives who are determined to catch the killer behind said murders, and said killer who is able to outsmart and stay ahead of the detectives. You even got the “damsel in distress” who adds to the danger and prompts the detectives to work harder to save the day. The fact that it’s based on a true story doesn’t really change much, since we have other films like Zodiac. I doubt anyone other than serious true crime buffs would have even heard of this case unless they’d either seen this movie or heard of it (I’ll confess, I certainly hadn’t).
Still, the movie does get points for trying. It certainly seems darker than most crime thrillers, and I mean that literally, since there’s a chase scene that’s mostly in darkness and shadow, making it hard to see. On the upside, it does add to the suspense of the moment. In fact, there was some bit of controversy behind the film when the original director, Danny Boyle, left the project, saying that it was “so dark it would never get made.” The movie certainly does have a good cast going for it. Worthington sure adds some star power to the movie, having appeared in Clash of the Titans and the aforementioned Avatar, one of the biggest movies ever. Morgan is a good fit for the role of Brian Heigh, having playing a similar character on the horror-action series Supernatural, and Mortez also adds some extra star power, already making a name for herself in previous films such as Kick-Ass and Let Me In, bringing that sense of innocense she does with her roles.
Texas Killing Fields has a lot of dark scenes. So one way to judge a blu-ray with a bunch of dark scenes is understanding how well it was transferred during this process. Sometimes you have horridly grainy dark scenes on blu-rays, while others are not true to scale. The key to perfection is finding a happy place in the middle. 😉 So did Texas Killing Fields find that happy place? Well it can be a bit ironic that movie with “killing” in the title did find a happy medium. While its not near perfection, it’s certainly a worthy transfer and will leave most all viewers of this flick satisfied.
The audio comes forward with great vocal clarity and the sound effects ring out nicely through your set up, or I would assume sound bar as well. Plenty of gun shots in this one and cars revving as they speed through during a particular chase scene. The front of your speakers will carry the bulk of your load while the rears seemed to not get as much love as I would have liked for an engulfing experience which a movie of this magnitude with all the gun-fire could provide.
Bare bones, just the trailer and a sole audio commentary with writer Donald F. Ferrarone and director Ami Canaan Mann. I was hoping for some true documentary insight on the killings.
All in all, this isn’t a bad movie, but like I said, nothing really new. Unless you’re a fan of these kinds of movies, crime thrillers of true crime-based stories, this is probably more of a rent for you than adding it to your collection. Definitely worth at least one look. The video quality overall was fine a long with audio quality while the supplements were lacking.