Directed by Christopher James Lang, VALLEY OF DITCHES presents the viewer with a horror film about survival, alongside revenge-seeking undertones. Bound and gagged in the back of a car, Emilia (Amanda Todisco) must endure the wrath of a religious psychopath (Russell Bradley Fenton) and the horrors he forces upon her. While engulfed in a vacant and dry desert, extreme measures eventually become prevalent towards Emilia’s survival if she wants to make it out alive with her sanity in check.
VALLEY OF DITCHES taps into the subconscious of a tortured victim; we as the audience are seeing everything through Emilia’s eyes and perspective. The witnessing of these horrific events seems to poke and prod at old wounds, digging up emotional turmoil’s from her past. As these memories surface through stress and dehydration, Emilia must transcend from prey to predator, using her troubling past as a mechanism of strength. When faced with a life or death situation, one must often choose methods of escape with the grisliest of outcomes in order to survive.
Along with great direction, VALLEY OF DITCHES possesses a storyline with a good foundation and concept, capturing the essence of what both writer and director were looking to showcase. Choosing the desert as the main stage blended nicely with the ruthless intentions of the attacker, leaving the protagonist stranded in a very unforgiving environment. The ending also throws a surprising curveball and makes for an enjoyable, but dark finale.
Although the pace of certain scenarios did move a bit slow for me (with a few unnecessary, over the top elements), leaving the sequential formula a little loose, the overall core of the film remained striking and strong. VALLEY OF DITCHES will captivate its audience through its unpredictable plot, its twists and turns, and one very intense and unexpected gore scene.
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