As we were watching this, my husband quickly said that was exactly what he would do, because if someone breaks into your home, they mean you harm. And I agreed. Gone are the days in which people would try to call the police or see who the intruder is before killing them. Nowadays it's just BAM! It's all about protecting your family and home. Shoot now, worry about the consequences later.
Confused and torn, Richard realizes something isn't right. The man he killed was NOT Ben's son, and now the cops are obviously hiding something and trying to cover it up. So he rushes out and pulls Ben off the tracks just in time. He takes him to his father's secluded cabin, waits until he comes to and proceeds to tell him the unlikely story. At first Ben reacts with complete disbelief - until he accompanies Richard to the cemetery where they unearth the body of what Ben thinks to be his son. Upon the discovery that the man in the grave is unknown to him, Ben believes Richard and they start to devise a plan to uncover the truth.
This is a film that at first feels a lot like Cape Fear, until it doesn't. I'm not saying it morphs into 8MM, but it's obvious at the beginning of the movie that Richard's family is in danger from Ben, who is anxious to rectify the death of his son. But then the tables turn and the two become allies in a conspiracy that will drag them into the dark bowels of the human condition.
I loved seeing Michael C. Hall in a role that allowed him to show true emotion, instead of being just a cold-blooded, soulless serial killer. He is as skilled at playing a run-of-the-mill family man as he is a heartless murderer, and he's got wonderful range to go along with his expressive eyes and talent for speaking without saying a word. Sam Shepard is his usual low-key self, which serves him well when addressing Hall's character with a cold, unfeeling vengeance, yet he is able to turn a corner and befriend Richard when he realizes he's a good man who was taken advantage of just as much as he was. And what can I say about Don Johnson that hasn't already been said? It's so fun to see him play a bombastic character like this. He's always able to rein in the swarm just enough to be utterly engaging and likeable.
If you like films like the aforementioned Cape Fear, A History of Violence, and the more recent Prisoners and Blue Ruin, you're bound to enjoy this pulpy thriller. I can't wait to see what Jim Mickle has in store for us next!