Blumhouse Productions is best known for its contributions to the horror genre, with such frightfests as Sinister, Insidious and The Purge in its body of work. But if you take one look at its upcoming slate, you’ll begin to understand that Blumhouse is looking to broaden its horizons in a big way. One of the most curious projects in the works over at the studio is a revenge Western called In A Valley of Violence. Though Ti West (The House of the Devil) scribed and also directed, the film still seems more than a little out of the way for the horror-leaning studio. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re not looking forward to it, particularly with the cast West has lined up. Today, James Ransone joined the film, which already boasts Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Karen Gillan and Taissa Farmiga.
I’m anticipating that additional details about In A Valley of Violence will paint a picture of an atypically scary or supernatural Western, given West’s involvement, but there’s nothing unusual about what we’ve heard so far. Hawke stars as a drifter who blows into a sleepy Western town searching for the thugs who murdered his best friend. His mission of vengeance brings chaos into the lives of two sisters (Gillan and Farmiga) who run the local hotel. Travolta is expected to star as one of the thugs, and Ransone is playing his son.
With Ransone joining the cast, In A Valley of Violence now features three Blumhouse alums. Hawke toplined breakout hits Sinister and The Purge for the studio, Gillan starred in this spring’s Oculus, and Ransone is set to lead the upcoming Sinister 2. It’s exciting to see Ransone come aboard; though the actor lacks the name recognition of his co-stars, he has proven himself a remarkably strong character actor over the years, excelling in small-screen projects like The Wire, Treme, Low Winter Sun, How to Make It in America and Generation Kill.
Ransone is just now heating up on the big screen. Sinister 2 is expected to propel him to stardom with the horror crowd, but he also has a lot of smaller projects in the can, including Western The Timber, Frank V. Ross’ Bloomin Mud Shuffle, horror pic Random with Ashley Greene and Haley Bennett, and Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline (in which Hawke stars). In A Valley of Violence is just one more promising project for the up-and-comer.