It’s a tale as old as time. The hero-with-a-past wanders into the wrong town, rubs the wrong people the wrong way, and ends up on the wrong side of a gun…and that’s when everyone else realizes he was the wrong guy to mess with. Such is the classic Western set-up at the heart of Ti West (House of the Devil) and Blumhouse’s spin on the genre, In a Valley of Violence, but this one also has the good sense to throw in an adorable dog.
West’s first venture in the Western genre stars Ethan Hawke as a mysterious drifter named Paul who makes his way through the desert with his dog, Abbie. When they take a shortcut through the center of a large valley, they come upon the remote town of Denton (aka the titular Valley of Violence) where Paul runs afoul of the corrupt town’s Marshal (John Travolta) and his trouble-making son (James Ransone). What follows, if the trailer is any indication, lives up to the film’s excellent title but with a bit of cheekiness one might not expect from a director like West.
In a Valley of Violence also stars Taissa Farmiga and Karen Gillan, and arrives in theaters and On Demand October 21st. Watch the trailer below.
Here’s the official In a Valley of Violence synopsis.
A mysterious drifter named Paul (Ethan Hawke) and his dog Abbie (Jumpy) make their way towards Mexico through the barren desert of the old west. In an attempt to shorten their journey they cut through the center of a large valley – landing themselves in the forgotten town of Denton – a place now dubbed by locals as a “valley of violence.” The once popular mining town is nearly abandoned, and controlled by a brash group of misfits and nitwits – chief among them, the seemingly untouchable, Gilly (James Ransone) who is the troublemaking son of the town’s unforgiving Marshal (John Travolta).
As tensions rise between Paul and Gilly, Denton’s remaining residents bear witness to an inevitable act of violence that starts a disastrous chain reaction, infecting the petty lives of all involved and quickly drags the whole town into the bloody crosshairs of revenge. Mary-Anne (Taissa Farmiga) and Ellen (Karen Gillan), two bickering sisters who run the town’s only hotel, try to find the good in both men, while desperately searching for their own salvation. Only the world-weary Marshal struggles to stop the violent hysteria, but after a gruesome discovery about Paul’s past…there is no stopping the escalation.