I haven’t posted a heck of a lot lately, because I usually write to chase off the demons and frankly a month a half of not working, lots of drugs, and yogic meditation does a lot to keep Old Scratch at bay. I did find myself sitting down recently to pick some westerns off of my Netflix queue, including one I never heard of called Seraphim Falls. I don’t believe that the script for the adaption of Blood Meridian is done yet, but whoever is writing it should take a look at this movie to see how a bleak, bloody western can be done.
Seraphim Falls takes a while to get into, largely because the action starts around eleven seconds into the movie. Pierce Brosnan is shot in opening seconds of the movie, and spends roughly the first half hour being chased through the mountains by Liam Neeson and a band of hired killers. Through this entire act, Brosnan’s dialogue consists solely of screams and groans. It is a heck of thing to watch.
Eventually, the cause of the chase is revealed as a blood feud going back to the waning days of the Civil War. As the chase goes for hundreds of beautiful mountain and desert miles, the distances close, and you start counting the remaining bullets on one hand, the emotional tension ratchets up. Seraphim Falls, as it turns out, is a farm where good intentions turned to tragedy, leading to Neeson’s quest for revenge. A seraphim is also a member of the choir of angels, which adds a metaphysical twist particularly when Angelica Houston turns up as a huckster, the Devil, or both. Turns out that Scratch will tempt you when no matter where you run or how much meditation you do.
When the credits rolled I didn’t think that I liked Seraphim Falls. My reaction was more in the line of “holy crap, what the heck did I just watch?” With a little distance, though, it is pretty good if hopelessly bleak and blood drenched.