Shotgun Stories

Shotgun Stories

On DVD: 
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Running Time: 
91 Minutes

Jeff Nichols makes his directorial debut with a chilling tale about a blood feud between two sets of half brothers.  Set in the cotton-field covered back roads of Southern Arkansas, the first set of half brothers were born to an abusive alcoholic father who never even gave them proper names. Son, Boy and Kid have grown up hating the father who left them. The second set of half brothers were born to a man who had reformed his ways, quit drinking and became a Christian. Needless to say both sets of sons grew up with complete opposite views of the man they both called father.

When the father dies, Son, Boy and Kid crash his funeral with a few choice words for “dear old dad” which their opposing set brothers don't take too kindly to. Because this is more of a tense character driven drama, rather than an all out action revenge film, it starts out a little slow as Director Nichols weaves each character's story. But, as the story progresses you can almost feel the tension building up as decades old hatred and anger bubble to the surface.

The feeling of tension, of almost impending doom, comes mainly from two sources. First, from the excellently portrayed acting of not only the three main brothers, Son, Boy and Kid but the entire cast, even down to the loner named Shampoo. Secondly, the cinematography and soundtrack are top notch. The soundtrack fits the style and placement of the film like no other soundtrack I have heard this year and I am bit obsessed about soundtracks. In many of the scenes there is no need for dialogue, the actor's facial expression and body posture combined with the music convey the proper emotion more than adequately.

It is rare that I say this but this is one film where there is not one thing I would want to change were I given the chance. An all around superbly written, directed and acted out film that draws you in and won't let you go even after the final credits roll.

Review by William Henderson