Review By Monique Thompson
What would you do if you walked into your living room in the middle of the night only to find an intruder standing in your living? That’s the exact dilemma Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall), a seemingly passive established shop owner and dedicated father and husband was faced with one night. Awaking to noises in the middle of the night, Dane enters his living room and fatally shoots an unarmed intruder, Freddie Russell, in cold-blood. Little does Dane know, that one moment will change his family’s life forever.
Unable to cope with killing Freddie, Dane visits the cemetery where Freddie has been buried and runs into a man named Ben. Unbeknownst to Dane, the intruder that he just killed is the son of Ben (Sam Shephard), a rough and hard-headed convict who has just been released from prison and is seeking revenge against his son’s killer. Now Dane must protect himself and his family from this ruthless ex-con.
From this point, Cold In July takes many dark and twisted turns, leaving the audience in a state of shock. Dane begins to wonder whether or not one of the local police officers, Ray Price (Nick Damici), is hiding a few secrets of his own. As the plot thickens, Dane finds himself entangled in more conspiracies with not only Officer Price, but Ben as well.
What makes Cold In July stand out so much from your usual dark, cult thriller is the fact that it’s retro. Based in Texas in the 80s, CIJ is just a basic as you can get when it comes to technology. From pay phones, to VCR’s, to gas at nearly a buck a gallon, CIJ escapes the luxury of modernization, which can sometimes make things too predictable and “easy” so to speak.
Excellently directed by Jim Mickle (Stake Land, 2010), Cold In July builds smoothly to a surprise ending and is a solid indi-thriller right from the start.