GO WITH ME (2015)
Directed by Daniel Alfredson
After moving back to her hometown and inheriting her late mother’s property, Lillian starts to be harassed by a local man named Blackway. What started off as unwanted attention at the diner she worked at soon develops into visits to her property and the decapitation of her beloved pet cat. Frightened by what he might do next, Lillian visits the sheriff who’s no help at all. He suggests she employ the help of a local logger Scotty but upon her visit to the logging community, is frustrated to find that Scotty is out of town and that no-one wants to help her, suggesting she should move back to Seattle to escape him. However, elder logger Les and young colleague Nate decide to help the young woman in need knowing that Blackway is a menace to their community and that something must be done about him before he intimidates and attacks anyone else.
Portraying itself as a revenge thriller, GO WITH ME is more akin to a drama as the story slowly unfolds of how Blackway, played by an intimidating Ray Liotta, has a stranglehold over the small Pacific Northwest town and who, if anyone, will stand up to such a creation and, if they do, will they succeed? With a disregard for decency, Blackway won’t stop until gets what he wants which frightens the women of the town. Also brutally handy with his fists, Blackway strikes fear into the hearts of the male contingent of the town who’ve crossed paths with him. When Les (Anthony Hopkins) and Nate (Alexander Ludwig) decide to help Lillian (Julia Stiles), everyone thinks they’re stupid and foolish but with hearts of gold, they’re ready for a fight should it come to it and won’t see Lillian harassed any further.
What I thought would be a revenge thriller laced with tension is actually a lacklustre effort that sees the three characters Lillian, Les and Nate simply wander around town looking for Blackway. After meeting several different people and getting into a bar fight with Blackway’s accountant, the trio finally meet their man at the end of the final third. Whilst the three characters are written well and are extremely likable, their meeting with Blackway fails to have the effect that we’re led to anticipate. Blackway is a brutal man and although we have the odd intense scene, his fearsome demeanor built up over the film melts in the finale. It feels as though it’s over with before it’s even begun. The events leading up to the climax are hardly riveting either so for the final payoff to fail leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth.
When it boils down to it, GO WITH ME is quite a dull movie. There’s not enough to get your teeth into and the whole episode of finding Blackway feels like an extended mission from Grand Theft Auto without the fun. The film is as sleepy as its logging community which results in a sub-par thriller only saved by its experienced cast.