Das finstere Tal (2014)
Pssst, want to check out Das finstere Tal in our new look?
See all comments
Who would've thought that two of the best movies released in 2014 were westerns? After seeing My Sweet Pepper Land I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this modern western, a genre that normally doesn't appeal to me that much. The Austrian movie Das finstere Tal (aka. The Dark Valley) again pushes the boundaries of the western genre. Not the American frontier, but the Austrian Alps at the end of the 19th century are its setting. Aesthetically this is one of the most beautiful movies of the year, especially because of its winter landscapes in the Alps and the almost desaturated blue-grey color palette. Storywise it seems like something Tarantino could've made, if he got off the coke and took some tranquilizers: a story of vengeance and raw characters but with a slow burn effect. At the same time this movie strikes an emotional nerve and provokes a melancholic atmosphere by constantly maintaining a dreary and ominous effect. With its use of an anachronistic soundtrack it never gets too heavy though. This should've been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Seriously.
It must be embarrassing being American, when not only Italians, but Austrians make better westerns - the one, "true" american genre - than Americans themselves. Visually stunning, The Dark Valley is set in the Alps, where "a lone rider comes into town..." The suspense builds slowly as the plot unfolds, and the story culminates in one of the greater western film ending. There's no revolvers to be seen, only cold, gritty faces, and dreary yet beautiful winter landscapes.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!