film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Crow Valley 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


"We're gonna get out of here". Ah you hear those words in a thriller a lot. And unless you've never seen one from that genre, they usually come from the leading light.

Anyway I'm talking about 2022's Crow Valley, a film so compact and condensed it could fly away. I mean we hardly know anything about the characters if it weren't for the immense flashbacks. And yeah, "Valley" feels almost unfinished if not for the flick's hints of moral ambiguity.

So is Crow Valley an ego trip for writer, director, and star Josh Conn? It appears that way but the dude seems to be decent at his craft. And does "Valley" have a solid look considering the budget was probably nil? Sure why not. I mean Australia is well, Australia.

Crow Valley is familiar material, so familiar that you salivate for it to push the envelope a little more (the running time is a paltry 77 minutes). Echoing stuff like Misery and 2005's Hard Candy, "Valley" is about a mountain biker (Josh Conn as Benny) who gets involved in a hit and run. The kicker is that the girl who commits the hit and run (Nicole Freeman as Greta), holds the biker captive in a random's house. Torture, conflict, and chaos ensue because Benny committed his own hit and run in the past. Call it revenge, call it tit for tat, call Greta in the end loony tunes (that's because she is).

All in all, Crow Valley is so earnest to get to where it's going we never absorb the viewing experience enough. Added to that, whatever violent acts are shown seem shoddily edited as if the forecast wouldn't allow for more carnage. "Valley" almost feels like a short. In film a short is roughly 40 minutes so we're not far off here. Finally, where the heck is Crow Valley anyway? Oh wait it is fictional, just a small lake and some trees. Crow Valley isn't a dud but it comes real close to eating "crow".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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