Das Finstere Tal - 2014 - 7/10
AKA - The Dark Valley
Near great Western is flawless, until a self-inflicted error wrecks the ambiance.
After an unsettling, violent parting of two lovers, the tiny timber community returns to normal.
Then, years later, the stranger arrives.
He is a photographer, and pays in gold to overwinter there.
The community is sullen and unhappy, ruled by old man Brenner and his six thuggish sons.
Women are property, men are beaten down, even the photographer is taught an early lesson.
Until the dying begins.
The high lonesome landscape is jaw dropping. Sierra Nevada or the Canadian Rockies?
Nope. German/Austrian Alps. Whole movie is in German.
Fear not, this is a pitch perfect film that would thrill any Eastwood fan -
Until late …
… when the director stupidly, stupidly, stupidly, overdubs crucial action with pop music. Some whiny male wails “How dare you?” over and over and over. At this point, one senses the director has walked away. From that point on, the tight control ends, it gets talky, and there is a closing credits “song,” modern and inappropriate.
To my reckoning, the blundering song choices and last act possibly killed an Academy nod for best foreign film.
Definitely worth hunting for Western fans, or cold paced action fans. Beware the songs, though.