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Life + Arts October 24, 2011 //  by  // Comments

‘Killing Fields’ too close for comfort

When the credits roll, the only thing plaguing the psyche is a feeling of curiosity blended with bewilderment.

The film is “Texas Killing Fields” and it tells the story of the phenomena of people who have gone missing all around Galveston county, near League City, never to be heard from again.

The story is told by the two detectives who were involved in these cases 11 years ago. Detective Mike Land’s character is Mike Souder, portrayed by Sam Worthington, and Detective Brian Goetschius, whose name was changed to Brian Heigh in the film, is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

With the help of the two detectives, screenwriter and former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Don Ferrarone and director Ami Canaan Mann, a new light was shed on the case that gave it more resonance, something that will cause this film to stay with you.

Don Ferrarone explained his initial attraction to the idea of a film which is based on the more than 60 bodies that have been found in these fields since 1971 — bodies of victims whose murderer could not be identified.

Many of the victims were unknown, and in more than four decades there was only one survivor.

While writing the screenplay, Ferrarone said, “The truth is much more interesting” than anything else they might put in the film; they actually had to tone it down a bit. Even though the film was shot in Louisiana, the keen eye of Director Ami Canaan Mann was able to find locations that look exactly the same as the setting of the story — Texas City.

This pseudo-Texas setting even fools people who have grown up in the state. Mann knew what to look for to give the film the feeling of small town life, having also grown up in a small town in Indiana.

She also explained that since “27 crimes are still unsolved,” she wanted to “honor the reality that there are still crimes that need work.”

This film is very slow-paced and realistic in that there are minimal action scenes. Most of the film has to do with the two detectives trying to make sense of the multiple murders and attacks occurring in the chaotic town where crime is abundant and the combing through the myriad of shady characters available to them.

The film is riddled with despair as the detectives struggle to get leads from the often overly-apathetic townspeople.

The theme of the film shows that evil is often pervasive and never-ending. Chloë Grace Moretz co-stars as a little girl who serves as a symbol of how bad things can get for girls her age in the crimes that occurred in these tiny towns.

“Texas Killing Fields” was released in select theatres on Oct. 14 and is now playing at the Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 on Weslayan.


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