In an area just outside Texas City 60 bodies were dumped since 1971. This desolate landscape was nicknamed the Texas killing fields by the locals. Ami Canaan Mann's Texas Killing Fields, based on these true events, follows the path of hard local homicide cops (Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain), teaming with a New York transplanted detective (Jeffrey Dean Morgan ), as they unravel the murders, and save young Anne (Chloë Grace Moretz), a child of a “problem” family, from the clutches of the murderer in a dramatic finale.
This gritty yet haunting film is more about the intense and complex personal relationships which have developed in small town Texas and an environment which has as much shaped the people living in the area, as it has been shaped by them, those lingering night shots of the front decaying façades and the eerie landscape of the murder scenes staying with me long after I watched it, and a perception of life on the edge of society, rather than the murders themselves, as we suspect from early on who committed them.
The murderer changes his game as the cops' net starts to bite, taunting them by leaving clues in the crime scene. New Yorker cop Heigh's obsession with solving the crimes, in spite of the area being outside his jurisdiction, gets heightened when troublesome Anne disappears, suspecting that she has been, or was going to be, murdered.
Visually brilliant, Texas Killing Fields has a haunting atmosphere which is in the best tradition of American film-noir, slightly spoilt by an unnecessary, and obligatory these days, car chase, accompanied by an eerie sound track and strong acting, although it is about time that Chloë Grace Moretz starts widening her acting repertoire.
Distributor: Entertainment Film Distributors