DVD Small Town Murder Songs

DVD Small Town Murder Songs
DVD Small Town Murder Songs
Run time: 75 min
Rating: 5.9
Genres: Crime | Thriller
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Writers: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Stars: Jill Hennessy, Amy Rutherford, Peter Stormare
Walter is the chief of police in a small Ontario town that has its first murder victim, an attractive young woman who is found naked on the shores of the nearby lake. The woman isn’t local and while the Ontario Provincial Police have taken the lead in the investigation, Walter assists where he can. The town is mostly a close-knit Mennonite community and Walter has recently returned to his church. He is also trying to deal with his own temper that led to a violent incident some months before. As the young woman is identified, it becomes apparent that Walter’s former love interest may be lying. Written by garykmcd
Plot Keywords: police, mennonite, murder, redemption, nudity
Country: Canada
Release Date: 22 September 2011 (Netherlands)
Box Office
Opening Weekend: $1,825 (USA) (3 June 2011)
Gross: $30,858 (USA) (12 August 2011)


  1. To be fair, the director set himself up with a task that was going to undermine him. This is the story of a severely bottled-up individual who has a history of rage and violence, who has separated himself from larger society both because he can't trust himself and they know they can't trust him either. But to play such a character means going inward so much that it doesn't give the viewer a whole lot to look at. There are long stretches of this short movie where we see the protagonist simply frozen with his own torment.

    The standout performance here is by Jill Hennessey, who conveys such resentment and antipathy toward the protagonist that it practically jumps off the screen. Every frame she's in the movie becomes compelling. If there had been more done with the back story between these two it might have made for a more interesting story.

    Regarding the music – this kind of new-gospel is not to my taste, but even if it were, the fact that it's amped-up so loud compared to the rest of the film, where the characters barely speak above a whisper, is completely off-putting. What is supposed to add emotional and spiritual impact ends up just sounding bombastic. I felt aurally mugged.

  2. I read the review posted that bashes this movie that review could not be more wrong. I just watched this movie and could not be more impressed.

    This movie is very different from standard police fare, it is concerned with the characters in the story not just the crime drama.

    If you hate what Michael Bay (Transformers director) movies, this is the movie for you. Characters should matter in a movie not special effects.

    Canada, you should be very proud of this movie.

    Hollywood take note. Your movies may make more money but they're not better.

  3. After missing this by minutes at TIFF (I went to the box office when I should have went to the venue and joined the rush line…oops) I finally was able to see it at a sold out screening in the town where it was shot. In the time between it's premiere in Toronto and the screening I finally saw it at I had seen reviews slowly appearing here and there. While there was good word from Toronto media, which seems partial to hometown boy Ed Glass-Donnelly, I was also seeing less favourable reviews which seemed to be critical of the pacing and the soundtrack. The fact is I found both of these elements of the movie were executed brilliantly. The sound is sparse, the dialogue crisp and clear driving this character study toward it's realistically explosive conclusion. The music was used in excellent way to build atmosphere. The songs by Bruce Peninsula were especially appropriate. Coming from a small town I must add that some of the characters in Smalltown Murder Songs could live right next to me. Believable.

  4. "You need to ask, what kind of man do I choose to be." After discovering a murdered girl in a field, Ottawa police officer Walter (Stormare) is put in charge of trying to find the killer. When the pressure of the case starts to get to him will he act like the officer he is, or will his past catch up with him first? This is another movie that has a very deliberate pace, it does drag a little in spots, but overall a very good movie. The best way to describe this is slowly watching a man who has it all together begin to lose it. All the while you begin to feel sorry for him, and you feel like you shouldn't. This is the best Coen Brothers movie that they haven't directed. This movie has the pacing and feel of one of their movies, even though they had nothing to do with this one. The acting is excellent and is a joy to watch Walter try to stay calm in the midst of the pressure he is facing. This is a great choice if you are looking for a movie. I liked it a lot. Overall, a very good movie filled with great acting. The music used in this movie is excellent, and it really adds to the feel of the movie. This is another movie that is not for everyone, but those that like the Coen Brothers will really enjoy this movie. I give it a B.

    Would I watch again? – I don't think I will, not really a repeat watcher type movie.

    *Also try – Winter's Bone

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