There is something about wintry thrillers that I love. Some of my favorites that come immediately to mind are Dead of Winter, Hanna (not all in winter, but some of it), Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan (if you haven’t seen it, get it tonight), The Thing, Winter People, Fargo, Let the Right One In, Misery and Jennifer 8 just to name a few. There is something about the cold and isolation of winter that just amplifies the tension in a good thriller. Eric Bana, Charlie Hunnam and Olivia Wilde star alongside screen veterans Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek in the new winter thriller Deadfall.
Addison (Bana) and Liza (Wilde) are very close siblings on the run from a casino heist. But in the near whiteout conditions of a blizzard, their car crashes and their driver is killed. Addison and Liza go on the run in the wilderness with the police hot on their trail, so they split up with plans to meet at a later time to cross the border into Canada. Addison heads into the deep woods and Liza hitches a ride with Jay (Hunnam), a recently released ex-con on his way to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving. With local police only a few steps behind them, the brother and sister team must find a way to get to safety with the money and their lives.
Deadfall was everything I could possibly want in a wintery thriller. Great performances all around not only by Bana, Hunnam and Wilde, but Kristofferson, Spacek, Kate Mara and Treat Williams as a severely asshole-ish sheriff. The setting is cold, isolated and appropriate to the stories of many characters that have isolated themselves from society. The story clips along at a great pace, is filled with some nice twists and turns, and is full of characters you can actually take time to learn about and like (or dislike in a few cases). There really is a lot to love in Deadfall, and with the recent weather conditions here in Ontario, there’s no better time to sit down with it and feel like you are living it.
The Blu-ray from eOne is superb. Even though there is tons of blowing snow in Deadfall, the whites never get blown out. Colors are solid and natural and clarity and detail are excellent. This is a stellar presentation for a relatively low budget film. So enjoy our Canadian winter with a film that fits right in and delivers on every level.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.