Texas Killing Fields splits stories

The Texas Killing fields are a place where people die. It’s a place in Texas that locals know is unsafe. Out-of-towners will never understand it and there is no way they will be able to fix it. This area of Texas seems to be cursed, a place where the most evil of people do their bidding.

Our story follows a pair of cops, played by Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, as they work to catch a pimp who elicits minors. A killer at the fields wants to taunt the police and calls these two officers, but the Texas Killing Fields are out of their jurisdiction. After they hear the last breaths of a woman before she is murdered and left to die in the fields, they team up with a police officer that can patrol their fields in attempt to solve the case.

At the same time, they hunt for a pimp who is exploiting teenagers and anyone he can spin a profit from. He’s in cahoots with Rule, a bad-ass white guy covered in tattoos (played by Jason Clarke from Chicago Code) and these two thugs pretty much own their block. This plotline is where the problem of this movie lies. There is too much going on and it’s hard to tell what’s important. We’ve got what appears to be a serial killer leaving bodies in the Texas Killing Fields asking to be caught. There are two officers who are being dragged in to the case while they are fighting to catch Rule and the pimp. After a few gunshot wounds, they find out who is responsible for the bodies that have been found in the killing fields–but when they find him he’s already been shot by a family he betrayed.

Overall, Texas Killing Fields is very entertaining, but lacking in a few areas. It has the very loose feel of a Coen Brothers film, but doesn’t have strong enough storytelling to keep that feel. The story feels convoluted it’s hard to tell what parts of the story are most important. Both Rule and the possible killer seem important, but when the tattooed guy finally shows the root of his evil, the film forgets about him and moves on to another story.

Texas Killing Fields would have been a much better film if the creative forces behind it made it more of a horror film. They could have spent more time on the deaths that happened in the killing fields and the people that caused those deaths, which would have avoided a pointless side story. Because of this side story the audience is walks away from this film feeling confused about what they were supposed to pay attention to and what to think about the film. There was absolutely no point to include the tattooed white guy or the pimp!  In all actuality, this film should have been an episode of Criminal Minds–which would have been much better.

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