The Ravine is the type of based on true events thriller that is a major part of today’s entertainment consumption. The movie is about a community that is rocked by a horrible crime. Friends and family begin to question what they really know about each other and life in general. But were the answers in front of them all along?
The plot sets up a story about dealing with loss and grief. It also touches on predestination and upbringing. It sounds like The Ravine is going to tackle some very serious issues and to an extent, it does. Unfortunately, the movie ends up being an all around poor attempt that simplifies everything.
The actions that put the plot in motion are unbelievably violent (and also pretty ridiculous) and are a good starting point to delve into human nature. The best friends of the victims are hit particularly hard, with one of them beginning an investigation into why things unfolded the way they did.
This makes perfect sense as an event this tragic would leave anyone asking, “Why?” It is human nature to look for explanations and Mitch’s (Eric Dane) journey to find them would make for a great story. Regrettably, that is not the direction The Ravine ends up going. As things slowly unfold, it is clear that the answer is a faith-based one that removes any of the deeper layers that are originally touched on.
Pacing is also a noticeable issue in The Ravine. Things move at an extremely methodical pace. This is not to add emotional weight or context to anything that is happening. It is due to the film’s habit of consonantly repeating itself. Ill placed flashbacks slow down things even more.
In the end, none of it really matters. In one of the most egregious uses of a magical friend seen in quite a while, The Ravine explains everything away with the wave of a hand. It should be embarrassing and disgusting but instead ends up being irrelevant.
The Ravine comes to theaters, On Demand, and digital May 6
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