The Western has enjoyed enduring popularity for decades. Its heyday was probably the 1960s but that hasn’t stopped many directors from continuing to try their hand at the genre. Ti West is the latest director to give it a go, departing from his usual suspense and horror fare that he’s known for. His new film In the Valley of Violence is a classic revenge story starring Ethan Hawke in his second Western of the year. It’s the kind of story that has been done many times so it’s bound to be difficult to find a fresh angle that breathes new life into it. Unfortunately for West, he is unable to find that spark that gives us something fresh and exciting, instead producing something that feels like it has been done before and better.
Humans often have the inherent need to be in control and to make sense of their surroundings. A sense of arrogance can come from this behaviour that can lead to disaster. When you combine those elements while living in a world of a zombie outbreak, you end up with an idea like Steve Barker’s The Rezort. The smugness of the world’s population has lead to herding the last remaining zombies to enclosures on a secluded island where people can pay to hunt them down. People come for a variety of reasons — power, aggression, anger, entertainment — but the audacity they have believing everything is completely under their control of course leads to mayhem.