What are the Texas Killing Fields? According to the trailer for the film since 1971 over 60 young women have disappeared, believed to have been murdered, and disposed of in an area bordering the Calder Oil Field, a 25-acre piece of land situated not far from the southern end of Texas City and a mile from Interstate 45, a stretch of road allegedly known as the highway of hell due to the high rate of traffic accidents. When you look up this area on the Internet you find that approximately 30 bodies have been discovered in the fields, mainly consisting of young girls between the ages of 10-25 many have similar physical features including similar hairstyles. Also the majority of the bodies were found next to water, leading to speculations that that a serial killer had been at work! Incidentally very few of the murder cases have been solved.
Directed by Michael Mann’s daughter Ami Canaan Mann with a screenplay by Federal Agent Donald Ferrarone, Texas Killing Fields (2013) is loosely based on the real events but focusing mainly on the two real life Detectives involved in the case Brian Goetschus and Mike Land, called Brian Heigh (Jeffery Dean Morgan) and Mike Soulder (Sam Worthington) in the adaptation. Worthington has been quoted as saying that this movie was made to raise awareness about the crimes and maybe bring fresh evidence to light. Unfortunately the movie has reawakened bad memories and mixed emotions for the families of the victims.
To be honest and despite being shot in Louisiana and having a very good cast, which as well as Dean Morgan and Worthington we have Jessica Chastain playing the hard bitten Detective Pam Stall, 14 year old Chloe Grace Moretz playing the ‘nearly’ victim Anne Sliger and our very own Stephen Graham playing a low life character called Rhino, the film is a little disappointing and certainly not as good as the not dissimilar The Frozen Ground (2013) or Memories of Murder (2003). It has a rather muddled narrative and the lack of any real tension or suspense does nothing to help its case. Other than Anne no other character deserves our empathy, in fact the movie is full of awful nasty people who according to this portrait frequent the lower echelons of American society and the police force. Sorry but two hours of your viewing pleasure would be better directed elsewhere!