Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dark Country

Thomas Jane stars and makes his directorial debut in this kooky little horrorish noir. Jane goes on a road trip with his new bride (Lauren German, way sexier than I realized) who he barely knows and married after one of those drunken what-happens-in-Vegas kind of evenings that mainly happen in the movies. On the road, they come across a nasty looking car wreck, and pick up the badly disfigured survivor. The passenger acts bizarre and becomes increasingly hostile, and next thing you know they're burying his corpse in the desert and trying to cover their tracks. Then things get weird.

Dark Country has a certain scrappy charm to it, and reminds me a little bit of the oddball, low-budget noir classic Detour. It exists in an exaggerated version of the noir universe, though not as heavily stylized as Sin City. Not even the same ballpark as that one, really, but maybe the same game. It becomes increasingly strange as it goes along, eventually working in plot twists that are fantastical or supernatural or science fictiony or something. I guessed the big final twist early on in the movie, which is strange because I don't know that it actually makes any sense. Either way, it didn't detract from Dark Country's minor but genuine pleasures.

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