Friday, April 23, 2021

#2,557. Never Grow Old (2019)


Horror will always be my favorite genre, but westerns are a close second, and one of the many reasons why is there are a plethora of obscure, excellent “oaters” - from all eras – out there, just waiting to be discovered.

A great example is 2019’s Never Grow Old, starring Emile Hirsch and John Cusack (in a very different sort of role for him).

It’s the mid-19th century, and Patrick Tate (Hirsch) is an undertaker in a small frontier town. Business for Patrick has been slow as of late, in part because the community’s fire and brimstone Minister (Danny Webb) led a successful campaign to have alcohol, gambling, and prostitution banned.

Patrick’s financial situation improves, however, when gunslinger / outlaw Dutch Albert (Cusack) rides into town. Albert re-opens the saloon, and all at once Patrick has more bodies to bury than he ever had before.

But at what cost to the town that he and his wife Audrey (Deborah Francoise) call home?

Never Grow Old is a supremely disturbing film, powerfully acted, and with extraordinary cinematography that makes its muddy, grimy locale look as realistic as they come (you believe from start to finish that you’re in the old west).

Yet despite its impressive camerawork, the well-realized sets, and the strong performances, it’s the story that grabs your attention. And it never loosens its grip. This is a dark, dark movie, and there are scenes that will shake you.

Written and directed by Ivan Cavanaugh, who also helmed the 2014 horror film The Canal, Never Grow Old blew me away. It is a movie I highly recommend.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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