Texas Killing Fields - Blu-ray Review

'Editing, continuity, basic levels of professional film-making; all seem to have been left in the box marked 'optional'.'

I feel cheated by Texas Killing Fields, on several counts.

For a start, a Detective Thriller with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chole Moretz and Jessica Chastain should be quite good. It isn't.

Secondly, it wasn't shot in Texas. Call me old-fashioned but, for a film with an individual state's name in the title, which makes great play about how said state's 'killing fields' are dangerous and somewhat otherworldly (count the amount of times in the final third Sam Worthington tells Morgan 'not to go out there'), we should be seeing said state. Neighbouring Louisiana's bayous stand-in instead.

And, thirdly, the whole thing is just plain amateurish. Within ninety-seconds, there is clearly visible, even to those not looking, the reflection of a camera rig, gracefully sweeping across sun-drenched tarmac. Look later for Morgan's black eye, which shows up in a scene before his character is given it during the plot, then inexplicably disappears after he finally does receive it, only to reappear again a few scenes later. Editing, continuity, basic levels of professional film-making; all seem to have been left in the box marked 'optional'.

That there's any worth in this, whatsoever, must be testament to Don Ferrarone's script, rather than Ami Canaan Mann's horrific handling of things. There is menacing Southern threat here, very reminiscent of the similarly botched Into The Electric Mist and the score - apart from one of the final chases, which should have been silent - is effective bare strings and piano.

But then again, Ferrarone also writes in a horrible sub-plot, which ends pretty much without semblance of explanation, and leaves you feeling horribly cheated, all over again.

Look further...

'The storytelling in Texas Killing Fields isn't as much convoluted as it is jumbled - details tossed into a stew pot and never stirred - and stunningly uninteresting.' - Cinema Romantico


  1. This is weird, it's like we watch the same movies at the same time! I watched this a few days ago and while I'm not as down on it as you (a smidgen above your thoughts) there is something staid about the whole enterprise, as if strands were picked up and discarded. The issue with the pimp and the green car feels extraneous/ red herring-ish which only drags the film. And then there were moments I didn't understand, like the antagonist's motivation - was that ever explained?

    I saw the camera rig and laughed myself silly. The sweeping camera moves at the start had me thinking it would be truly bad. At least the Worthington's accent was too bad.

    1. Yeah, the thing with the pimp is exactly what I refer to in the final paragraph. Why the hell was it there? It added absolutely nothing to the narrative whatsoever, just an excuse to separate Worthington and Morgan. Then it ends. Awful plotting. And yes, I think you're right on the antagonist's motivation being ill-explained.

      Feel like the 'Cop Mystery' is a bit in the doldrums at the moment. A real shame, because, done well, it's one of my favourite genres.

  2. I suppose it's ridiculous and/or not fair to say, I was expecting so much more from the daughter of Michael Mann, but that's how I felt.

    1. I've seen a few people make that point and I think, with him as producer, it is a fair one to bring into the conversation. On this evidence though, she doesn't have even a smidgen of his film-making talent. Hopefully a one-off.