Ethan Hawke and John Travolta face off in a horror/western hybrid that rarely takes itself seriously. The concept is simple, fitting in to the western genre like a cowgirl at a rodeo. A mysterious stranger (Hawke), his dog (adorably hilarious) and a random act of violence, drag a town of misfits into the bloody cross hairs of revenge. Think John Wick with holsters and you can't go far wrong. American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga is along for the ride, alongside James Ransone (Sinister 2) and Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy).
West doesn't go out of his way to make a parody, but In a Valley of Violence does walk a fine line between serious contender and spoof. When the dust finally settles, however, he pretty much gets away with it. Travolta is better than he has been in years, Hawke is a perfect fit for this kind of movie and the dog is quite clearly the star of the show. The hallmarks of the western genre are recreated perfectly, including a fun Tarantino-esque credit sequence and a memorable score, and there is plenty of violence to keep the average horror junkie happy. Ti's standout features were built on suspense, not extreme violence, so this is an interesting detour in more ways than one.