Film Reviews Cat

Peaks and Valleys (2019)

9.0/10

Jack is living in a cabin which is located somewhere in Alaska when suddenly someone dumps a big object wrapped in plastic from an airplane into the lake. He quickly discovers that a woman was thrown out of that airplane and tries to save her.

“Peaks and Valleys” is not an ordinary movie because it is a combination of an extremely well written thrilling story, and an amazing shot film which focuses on the epic environment of Alaska. Moreover, the entire atmosphere of this film is original, realistic, dreamlike, emotional, and raw. And it contains all basic eight emotions (Robert Plutchik’s theory) which means that the audience will experience the full human spectrum of existence. However, this also means that this film is probably too intense to watch for certain people because it could trigger some intense emotions. However, this is also what makes this movie so great. “Peaks and Valleys” was clearly created from an authentic and cinematic perspective. Not everyone might enjoy such an approach, but I can guarantee you that most people within the film industry will love it. And therefore you should give it a try. Yes, people do have different tastes, and opinions when it comes down to movies. However, this is more than a good movie, it is pure quality.

Does this mean that “Peaks and Valleys” is perfect? Well, it is very close, but there are still a few things that could have been done differently. Firstly, the opening scene which I think was shot with a drone was great. However, during one shot the camera of the drone itself moved downwards which made the shot look mechanical. It would have been better if they would have used a stable ‘birds-eye view’ shot in order to maintain that smoothness. Again, this is a very minor critique as this mechanical shot only lasts for one second, and the rest of this scene is very smooth. The second issue that I encountered was more significant because it involves one of the actors. During one of the first scenes Jack’s neighbor says the following line; “you are not ready for this”. There is nothing wrong with this line of dialogue, but it was said in a manner which was not convincing. It felt like he was just reading the script without emotions. Therefore, they should have done another take for that scene. The same actor has another scene later in the movie, but during that second scene he doesn’t make the same mistake. I have to admit that I was a little afraid that this would be the standard of acting for the entire film, but this was the only under-performance. Additionally, the other actors did an amazing job. And I was really curious where these serious actors came from, and why I didn’t remember them from other movies. 

The plot is very original, and I can guarantee you that you have never seen a movie like this one before. Moreover, unfocused/blurry shots are used to emphasize vague memories, or a dreamlike state. And flashbacks are perfectly used when Baily (Kitty Mahoney) is reliving her traumatizing memories in Jack’s (Kevin T. Bennett) cabin. The dialogue is also original and contains some of the better writing that I have encountered so far. Two examples are; “Rise and shine valentine”, and “Don’t stick your pole in my hole”. It is also obvious that the creators focused on character development because we can see how the characters of Jack, and Bailey are changing overtime. Additionally, the color palette is well chosen as it gives the audience the crispy and fresh Alaskan summer, and winter feeling. However, what surprised me the most is how intense, rewarding, and well-structured the third act is. It is not often the case that we see such a well-developed final which makes everything feel complete. 

Overall, I can only say that you have to watch “Peaks and Valleys” because it is surprisingly good and original. Moreover, I suggest you keep an eye on the acting careers of Kevin T. Bennett, and Kitty Mahoney because they definitely are one of the best. 

Director: Michael Burns. Writer: Michael B. Dillon

Cast:
Kevin T. BennettJack
Kitty MahoneyBailey
Greg RowlandPilot
Emmy RozkydalVictim
Ted CarneyCliff (as Theadore Carney)
Steve SilbaAirport Manager

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