Deep Dark Canyon (NR)

Action/Adventure 90 November 2, 2012
By Jonathan Kiefer
The tagline-- Shoot, kill, run, hide--might suffice as a complete review. Does that mean the movie is successfully executed? Well, sure, but a little more imagination couldn't have hurt. As if chickening out of its own solemnly quirky character study, husband-and-wife filmmakers Abe Levy and Silver Tree's indie thriller descends promptly into a hot pursuit, then runs itself into one corner after another. In the Northern California redwoods, in a town so small that everybody is related, homicides don't go over so well. Ambiguous but definitely deadly circumstances leave teen brothers (Spencer Treat Clark, Nick Eversman) handcuffed together and on the run not just from their own father, the moody local top cop (Ted Levine), but also from an ad hoc posse of rifle-toting rednecks. The brothers have no shortage of Butch-and-Sundance moments, but some shortage of Newman-Redford charisma; there being no way out doesn't much matter after a while. As bodies pile up, so do tensions between family and legal matters. The film depletes itself with inter-location crosscutting, presumably intended to stoke suspense, and it all approximates the feel of an early Billy Bob Thornton script but lacks the full investment. Still, Levine commands every scene he's in with great support from a subtle and soulful Martin Starr as his conflicted deputy.
Silver Tree, Abe Levy Spencer Treat Clark, Nick Eversman, Ted Levine, Martin Starr, Matthew Lillard, Michael Bowen, Abraham Bendrubi, Valentina de Angelis Silver Tree, Abe Levy Silver Tree, Abe Levy, Brandon Barrera Independent Pictures