The Timber (2015) – Review

3 Stars

The Timber is a slow burn western that substitutes story and character over supercharged shoot-’em-up action. Laced with a downbeat and ominous tone and led by a good cast, this offbeat genre piece is enhanced by fine photography and rich plotting. Two brothers are faced with the bank foreclosing on their property unless they bring in a wanted felon. The man on the run is their father, forced with an awkward decision the men set out with a fellow bounty hunter to capture the fugitive. This is an intelligent western/drama that boasts some great moments and a rousing score.

Wyatt (James Ransone) and Samuel are men battered by life, one is a family man, the other a killer. So, when a slick banker agrees to forego the seizure if the brothers execute the warrant, they have no choice but to set out into the harsh winter terrain. While on the trail brutal temperatures wreak havoc on their stagecoach, and a mysterious mountain man attacks them. There is also the unsettling shot of a cannibal eating the corpse of a frozen man, this alerts them to the dangerous group marauding around in the wilderness.

The Timber has an unadorned simplicity that works in its favor. This is a defiantly old-fashioned, well-crafted man vs. nature themed project. Unfortunately for stretches it just doesn’t seem to have any idea what, exactly, it wants to say, or be. But, it typically rebounds with another intriguing sequences to follow. I don’t think this is for all tastes, especially a bizarre burning at the stake in the finale. However, you could do a lot worse in the straight-to-DVD western genre.

Director: Anthony O’Brien
Stars: Josh Peck, James Ransone, Mark Caven

5 thoughts on “The Timber (2015) – Review

  1. Would-be Heart of Darkness in the blinding white of the great unmapped West. Plot unduly confused by key scenes being played out of sequence and others having a dreamlike quality that leave you wondering if in fat they were, well, a dream. An uneven whole saved by beautifully awesome location photography.

  2. All in all, a poorly written and directed film so its hard to blame the actors. Old western gold rush story with predictable outcomes – greed, man vs. nature, cannibalism, the hunt, the terror of Indians, woman and baby and MIL left on the homestead, the villains and henchmen – a lot like “Pale Rider”. This film was good for two things: 1) it makes the viewer appreciate modern quality of life and confirms they’d never want to live in those times, and 2) absolutely stunning cinematography, a superb job if ever there was one. In the Carpathian Mountains no less. Two stars for the effort.

  3. Loved it….yes its a slow burner but camera work and sheer simplicity is marvelous ….not your average shoot them up western and yes its different so different that its truly a stand out movie…

  4. @ Jason Rugaard – And how much did they pay you to write your review? It’s one of the most boring movies I have ever seen. I stayed with the movie just to see how bad this group really is. I must say there is some nice scenery shots in the mountain snow scape.

    A group of amateurs get together with professional equipment, camp out in the snow belt of some mountain peak, come down with cabin fever and think they have shot an epic.

    A complete production of garbage………acting is off, timing is off, diction is off, melodramatic as hell but the cameras run perfect.

    1. I’m still trying to figure out what I’ve just watched. I can’t understand if we’re supposed to take it ‘as is’ or something more allegorical.

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