Mini-Review: Deep Dark Canyon

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

Deep Dark Canyon

Two things I often write about with regard to film-watching came into blissful convergence when I saw this film: first, there’s the Blank Slate Theory. Granted I read a line or two of synopsis, but up until that email from Redbox I hadn’t heard of this film. Secondly, and closely related to the first part, whatever expectations I created, over-inflated, and then guarded against in my head; were exceeded.

So why’s that? What Deep Dark Canyon does is take something that may sound like a higher concept or gimmicky set-up: two fugitives on the run while handcuffed to one another, and grounds it. What it gets grounded in is a wicked microcosm wherein one family, the Cavanaughs, calls all the shots and stacks the deck, whether inside or outside the law. When the Towne family won’t stand for it anymore things start to get complicated.

There are quite a few great turns of the plot in this tale, which coaxed audible reactions from me. This is a film that doesn’t fear going down the rabbit hole of further and greater consequences, but it never gets unreal in the given parameters.

While crimes, secrets and conspiracies bring you into the tale, it’s the human story that keeps you engaged in it. The revelations among Towne family members (uncle, father and brothers) swing the pendulum of power back and forth and the struggle is intriguing.

Of course, in a story that’s contained and stripped down, plot points can only take you so far. The performances have to keep you engaged. Spencer Treat Clark, in his first role as an adult performer that allows him to follow-through on the promise he showed as a young actor (there will likely be more to come soon like Much Ado About Nothing), and Nick Eversman, has quite a breakthrough performance (All I had seen him in prior was Hellraiser: Revelations); are captivating co-leads, who deliver incredibly raw, earnest performances.

Deep Dark Canyon delivers quite a bit of drama in the guise of a fugitive film, but delivers in both respects. It’s a fairly enthralling film that’s worthwhile viewing for sure.

8/10

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