We Gotta Get Out Of This Place


Reviewed by: Robert Munro

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
"The young cast all excel in roles which require the utmost duplicity"

An intriguing slice of southern noir, We Gotta Get Outta This Place references the work of Jim Thompson early on and for the most part lives up to that chronicler of the criminal underbelly of the American South. There’s very much an indie Americana feel to the film, replete with the wide open road on sunny days and the tumultuous morals of American’s disenfranchised.

A trio of friends enjoy one last Texas summer before two head off to college. B.J. (Logan Huffman) is the one left behind while girlfriend Sue (Mackenzie Davis) and his best friend Bobby (Jeremy Allen White) seek an escape from the small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business - with just a hint of Peter Bogdanovich’s masterpiece The Last Picture Show lingering throughout. Therefore there’s tension to be found from pretty early on in the film, with Bobby’s quiet, introspective demeanour clearly better suited to the bookish Sue than B.J.’s brash cowboy act. The tension is further ramped up when B.J. steals $20,000 dollars from local gangster Giff (Mark Pellegrino). A debt the three must repay.

The young cast all excel in roles which require the utmost duplicity, but a large part of the film is stolen by Mark Pellegrino’s performance, full of violent relish delivered rather poetically. Part of this of course arises from the wonderfully named Dutch Southern’s script, which allows Pellegrino to deliver a line such as “hollow out your honey pot” as euphemism for something really rather nasty he threatens Sue with.

This is the Texas of chewing tobacco, pick up trips and genteel manners with barely concealed menace, and is well captured by directors Simon and Zeke Hawkins and cinematographer Jeff Bierman. The rolling emptiness of the Texas landscape very much plays a part in setting the tone for the film, with the menace of rusting machinery and overcast skies never far from the screen.

Yet despite the excellent performances and tight script, the film does feel like it somewhat loses its way in the final third. While it never takes itself too seriously, some of the plot machinations feel slightly contrived and not convincingly sold. Therefore the film doesn’t quite live up to its early promise, but is nevertheless a well made and engaging thriller, with some terrific dialogue.

Reviewed on: 19 Jun 2014
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Three Texas teenager get embroiled in the world of a local gangster.
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Director: Simon Hawkins, Zeke Hawkins

Writer: Dutch Southern

Starring: Ashley Adams, Mackenzie Davis, William Devane, Jon Gries, Logan Huffman, Mark Pellegrino, Jeremy Allen White

Year: 2013

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


EIFF 2014

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