Terror On The Prairie (2022)

I Weep For Cinema Jun 15, 2022

Gina Carano got fired from her role in The Mandalorian thanks to Cancel Culture and idiots on the internet who can’t deal with someone not sharing their own opinions. Instead of disregarding a meme someone shares on social media, they went out of their way to destroy someone’s life and get them blacklisted as an entertainer. I really don’t care who you are or what you post, this is America and we are allowed to have differing opinions and can say anything we want, while also knowing our actions have consequences.

The only reason I post that is because it’s relevant to the story of Terror On The Prairie as a movie, because without Gina Carano getting fired from Disney the movie would have never happened. After being fired she got a call from The Daily Wire and was basically offered a leading role in a movie. While this can be good or bad depending on your outlook, giving someone a leading role sight unseen can be a bad way to make a movie. I like to think of it as goodwill and humanity being restored a bit. Not only was she offered the leading role in a movie, but creative control over the whole production. She could do any movie she wanted, and have full control of what happens on set.

The Daily Wire has been going hard on starting up their movie side of their business, and strong movies out of the gate with Run Hide Fight and The Hyperions, Terror on the Prairie goes again pretty hard with a “strong female protagonist”. Which isn’t a bad or good thing. It’s just the main character. You don’t want a weak protagonist or hero in your movie and their sex really shouldn’t matter. And while it might be a bit of an unfortunate coincidence that every one of their movies is featuring that very heavily pushed “strong female protagonist” it’s not necessarily a bad thing… and obviously if you got Gina Carano as your main lead, she is going to be very strong and female.

So let’s get to the movie, eh? Terror On The Prairie, as it’s name suggests is a Western. Which thrilled me to death. The moment I heard this was going to be a western, I got immediately interested. Some of my favorite movies of all time are westerns, Once Upon A Time In The West being my all time favorite. And the director along with the cast all retold their favorite westerns and why they were their favorites on the pre-show stream during premiere night. Movies like The Searchers, Hondo, Shane, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance all were referenced by the cast as inspirations, which was nice to see some more obscure titles, as opposed to everyone just saying The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The movie takes place mainly on a single homestead of the McAllister family, Jeb and Hattie have two children and are trying to make a living out on their own. Seems like life is tough, with cold winter mornings fetching water from the well and dealing with rattlesnakes crawling on the dirt floor inches away from the baby in a basket. Hattie used to live a life of luxury in St. Louis, until she married Jeb, who is a civil war veteran and noted sharpshooter. Life has become too inconvenient and unpleasant and Hattie wants to head back to civilization in hopes that her father can give Jeb a job at the local family business.

One day while Jeb is away trying to get supplies and some more money in the neighboring town, a gang of four men ride onto the McAllistar land. These men seem like troublemakers, but the man in charge, called Captain, is well spoken and asks for some water. Hattie agrees and also offers them some food as well before they head out. While not spoiling every beat of the story, lets just say things go sideways rather quickly, and the situation has turned into Hattie along with her 9 year old son and infant child fending off a murderous group. The reason why they don’t just kill Hattie and the kids isn’t apparent right away, but it reveals itself later on.

This movie incorporates it’s title very well, as there is very specific scenes of terror depicted and genuine heart-pounding action. Along with the superb and excellent cinematography showcasing the beautiful vistas Monatana has to offer, it’s a really well shot modern day made western. Which says a lot, when the vast majority of Westerns made today look very cheaply made and focus on being an action movie over a slow-paced story that unfolds in the span of almost two hours.

I’d liken this movie to The Hateful Eight, as it shares a lot of similarities of people not being who they seem to be, and building the suspense of an all out war in the second half of the movie. The story has you rooting for the good guys, and wanting to see the bad guys get blown away, and that is definitely put on display with some unbelievable practical effects and gore… oh yeah, there is quite a bit of gore. You might want to avert your eyes in certain spots if you don’t like the savagery of scalping a person.

Take personal feelings and politics out of the picture for a moment, and what you are left with is just an extremely well made Western. Put your personal feelings and politics back in, and you’ll see a picture that was built around wanting to stand up to Cancel Culture and the bullies of the internet led by the media and extremist groups that if you don’t agree with, they want to take everything from you. Along with that, it’s a film that not only stood by an actress whose life was trying to be ruined by those bullies, but a community that wanted to help out, and in turn helped provide jobs for hundreds of people.

If nothing else, give this film a chance based on the merits of the film and story being told on its own. Don’t hate it just because you dislike an actor, or have some personal vendetta to be outraged for someone else.

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