Texas Killing Fields movie poster
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Texas Killing Fields movie poster

Texas Killing Fields Movie Review

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The Texas Killing Fields is about a serial killer. It’s been a while since a really good serial killer movie came along – well, one not directed by David Fincher (who did Seven, Zodiac and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) – and unfortunately the trend continues. Drab, uninteresting and featuring an unremarkable villain, there’s a reason why you’ve never heard of The Texas Killing Fields.

Starring Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as two detectives who suspect that a serial killer is hunting women, dumping his victims in a nearby marsh known as “The Killing Fields.” The movie is loosely based on a true story, which means that somebody got killed by somebody somewhere in the United States. It also stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain.

The movie is consistently unremarkable, not notably terrible in any way and yet wholly uninteresting. A serial killer movie needs a couple of things, namely some sophisticated detective work and a menacing killer, even if he is largely unseen (like in Zodiac). The Texas Killing Fields has neither of those.

Rather than dwelling on simple things like crime fighting, the two detectives spend most of their time quarreling with one another, Worthington’s screen time devoted to spouting out useless comments about Texas not being the big city and that his partner is venturing into something into which he shouldn’t venture. His words are ominous but cliché. Morgan’s character, meanwhile, is bullheaded to the point of irritating.

The Texas Killing Fields is the first movie written by Don Ferrarone, and it shows.

The bigger problem is that the film isn’t suspenseful. It isn’t interesting. It fails to grab attention and hold onto it. The serial killer is utterly forgettable and not at all menacingly. In fact, The Texas Killing Fields features one of the least threatening serial killers of cinematic history. Ami Canaan Mann, Michael Mann’s daughter who replaced Danny Boyle on the project, indicates little of her father’s eye for compelling visuals or edginess.

The climax is also wholly disappointing, though by that point I’d stopped paying attention.

The Texas Killing Fields is exactly what you’d expect from a crime thriller that barely received a theatrical release: a boring waste of time.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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