“DARK VALLEY” Who will vanquish a village of incest? Film Review by C A Hall

Second SightThe film begins all Gothic Horror, moves to Cowboy high noon, which in this case is the middle of frozen German winter. There are spurs like stars with all the fixings, but the storyline? Wow! How do you remove incest from a village when you must kill all the people who keep it in place… and they’re all related to you?

Start with a camera, take pictures of them, then move on to shooting them with something a little more lethal. It’s been said, “The pen is more powerful than the sword”. I say the camera is the smoking gun! See this film for a million reasons, to take a wild ride, to watch true artists at work in every area of film making, Take your pick. Then doff your hat to Mr. Prochaska, the director as he rides by, not into the sunset, but into the next film worth his talent, which pays homage to no one.

The film is breathtaking, unbelievable shots of the Alps, perfect casting and performance, editing like a heart beat, a story of multigenerational revenge. The music/sound design so well done, but –  I object strenuously to the audio homage to the spaghetti western.

It’s an insider music joke used in the opening, closing and dramatic climax of the film. Why, you must ask Director Prochaska, if you love “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” that much, but can so elegantly defang a false priest in his confessional and a purulent patriarch in the bed where he sleeps, while still worshiping in the same church as Mr. Tarantino, can’t you see when you’ve gone beyond all of them?

To take on evil in a small village, where no one is propped up by anything like a Grand Guignol of the big house of the slave trade, or the occult trappings of the third Reich, is to go inside the cauldron. This is raw, naked, malevolent evil, where people steal your sexuality and your children, from their throne inside a mountain shack. Where the minions are leering goons with guns, ensconced by blood, birth and instinct.

To take down evil this deep, takes more guts than going up against institutional evil, where the power base is dispersed. Think of all the villages world wide that need this cleansing, including your own. This is the reckoning of the unholy family, the revenge against the tribe that spawned you. See this film if you are ready. It could make even Oedipus feel pity and fear. It goes that far, and then goes farther.

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