Texas Killing Fields Review

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Local cop Souder (Worthington) is paired with New York 'tec Heigh (Dean Morgan) to investigate the murder of a teenage prostitute in a hardscrabble town in the Texas Bayou. Their inquiries soon flush out some serious nastiness.

★★★★★

Though her father (Michael) likes to work with big stories and even bigger stars, Ami Canaan Mann has started small with her debut feature, a modest bayou noir that works as an offbeat thriller but probably isn’t quite destined for cult status. Nominally the lead but giving a generously low-key performance in a well-cast ensemble piece, Sam Worthington plays Souder, a provincial Texas cop who is paired up with New York out-of-towner Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to solve a local murder. But, Heigh gets dragged into the investigations of other killings, finally drawing out a sadistic psycho who has designs on the stop-out daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) of the town tramp. Despite the schlocky title, nothing truly lurid materialises, but Mann conjures up a decent sense of place and foreboding, with a terrific turn from Morgan as the film’s bleary-eyed conscience.

Set against gnarled, haunting landscapes, the story unfurls in stunning locales and a tasty cast - as you'd expect with Michael Mann's daughter behind the camera. The plot, though, is more Public Enemies than Heat.