Ani Canaan Mann’s second feature film, Texas Killing Fields, has had a somewhat long journey to the screen, and has gone through some slightly different incarnations, from involvement with other behind-the-camera talent (namely Danny Boyle) to the shorter, gentler title of The Fields. But with the film showing in competition at Venice, it looks like it may be smooth sailing from here on out. Despite a pretty standard true crime plotline, there’s something about Texas Killing Fields that has kept me intrigued for many months.

Maybe it’s that the film’s cast is almost murderously good, as it includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sam Worthington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Graham, Jason Clarke, and Annabeth Gish. That’s got to be it.

The film is based on a true story, with Worthington playing a small town Texas detective who gets paired up with Morgan’s big city transplant to catch a notorious killer in a tiny Texas town. Whoever the killer is has dumped no less than sixty bodies in a marshland outside town that the locals have taken to calling, not incorrectly, “The Killing Fields.” Of course, the killer eventually catches on that he’s being tracked and he starts leaving clues for the cops. And then he (apparently) takes Moretz’s character, and all bets are off.

The trailer doesn’t really expand much upon that, beyond showing, well, a bunch of fields and Worthington and Morgan switching back and forth between two emotions – stressed out and pissed off. Yet still, still I wonder if Texas Killing Fields doesn’t have a few special tricks up its bloody sleeves. [/Film]

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