DEATH VALLEY

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THE PLOT THUS FAR

A divorced mother, her young son and her new boyfriend set out on a road trip through Death Valley and run afoul of a local serial killer.

WHAT WE THOUGHT

Little Billy is going to visit his mom out in the desert. It’s not long before he’s bored and finding his way into trouble. Unfortunately, Billy steals evidence that links a vicious killer to a crime scene. This leads Billy into a degree of trouble with his mother and her new boyfriend. As they spend more and more time together, upsetting him more, they start to believe that a serial killer is loose in the area after a series of accidents along the way. The local Sheriff feels that a notorious madman is still loose and offers them safety in a nearby Wild West novelty town. Taking a while to realize that the killer has followed them back to their hotel and has targeted them, they race to save him and stop the murderer before it’s too late.

It takes time to let the characters and circumstances unfold that when the threatening tic-tack-toe nature breaks out we’re put in an act of alarm and desperation. It really puts the characters on the spot and breathing down an ominous air, the material doesn’t do much to hide the killer’s identity and the surprise twist is easy to figure out. The rural California locations do it wonders, as the secluded landscapes are harsh and vast with it being truly alienating — nowhere to hide and help is a long way. Journeyman director Dick Richards handles this with panache and vision, orchestrating the unhinged sounds.

The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD copy, a commentary, trailer and TV spot. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for a quiet suspense flick that not a lot of people have seen. However, the 1080p transfer is apt for the era with a decent amount of grain. The DTS-HD Mono track does the best with the materials present. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!

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