Ali Larter is the only bright spot of this western noir that seems familiar right down to the cod Cormac McCarthy voiceover
This modern western is a case of Mo’ Country for Old Men, though not in an especially good way. An unusually sedate Ron Perlman takes the Tommy Lee Jones old-timer sheriff role, and Ali Larter substitutes for Josh Brolin in fleeing across the south-western scrub. Which would make Ralph Ineson’s criminal scumbag the Javier Bardem/Anton Chigurh equivalent, backed up by his penchant for creosote-throated, metaphysical ruminations in a voiceover that come off like dimestore Cormac McCarthy: “People playing us like pawns on a chessboard. But what happens if those pawns don’t do as they’re told?”
With the influence weighing heavy, debut director Naveen A Chathapuram rigs up a creaking jalopy of storylines. Local badboy Jake (Ineson) kills a loose-tongued associate in a late-night diner, but is also forced to murder two witnesses. He takes the bodies out to the highlands where chum Bull (Kyle Schmid) suggests disposing of them in a nearby nature park. Not a good time for Susan (Larter) and husband to pitch up at the gates on a trip across the wilderness before she takes up an anthropology position at university.
The Last Victim is available on digital platforms on 10 October.