REVIEWS

‘Terror on the Prairie’ Is our Modern-Day Return to the True American Western

The Daily Wire entertainment group is challenging the hegemony of Hollywood with their latest film, an indie western thriller, Terror on the Prairie, starring Gina Carano, Nick Searcy and Cowboy Cerrone.

Westerns reigned in Hollywood during the golden age of film, but the main stream movie industry today is no longer compatible with the classical western genre. Western films celebrate American exceptionalism, which has been deemed politically incorrect by today’s standards. If critics can find a way to reframe it as exploitative or colonialist, it’s sufficient cause for banishing it from public view. Attempts at reviving the western genre in recent decades have relied on cross-genre gimmicks and special effects, resulting in box office flops. Only independent films in recent years have been able to capture the heart and grit of a classical western.

The loss of the western reflects a crisis in American identity. Terror on the Prairie attempts to revive the classical genre, that has been long thought dead. Some would say it’s an impossible feat, to organically relate to the genre in the way that American culture used to be, that over time, people have become detached from. But Terror on the Prairie succeeds at creating an authentic period piece, unabashedly drawing on the very values that Hollywood has abandoned for mass appeal and political correctness. Gina Carano plays the self-reliant protagonist, a frontier woman at the heart of a dynamic family unit, who must protect her young son and infant daughter from a gang of outlaws. The film also serves as an ode to the 2nd Amendment, when the right to bear arms and defend the homestead was essential during a dangerous and lawless time period.

Western themes deal with the intersection of the individual and society: the social alienation of rebellious spirits who reject the dominant culture. In the film, Gina Carrano and Cowboy Cerrone play the McCalisters, who escape from society by building their homestead in the wild west. The classical western genre serves as an allegory for how many modern conservatives may feel, who do not conform to society’s rules and expectations—even much of the cast of the film was ousted by Hollywood for not conforming to the prevailing political agenda.

The first thing people expect from a western is the western landscape, and Terror on the Prairie delivers. With breathtaking cinematography, the opening shots of the film signal the importance of the landscape. The sweeping vistas of the Great Plains set the stage like a blank page waiting to be written on. With impeccable costuming, set design, sound editing and attention to detail, we are transported back to the frontier era.

Terror on the Prairie reawakens the heart of the American spirit, giving nod to the classic westerns of the sixties—a time before films could be ‘canceled’ for not adhering to a political agenda. The film departs from a classical western format by injecting elements of horror-thriller suspense with grisly violence and dark adult themes.

Terror on the Prairie rebels from standard Hollywood woke-washing with an authentic cowboy spirit. With its superb casting, captivating performances from the entire cast and artistic cinematography, you won’t want to miss this indie western-thriller. Terror on the Prairie is now available for streaming with a subscription on the Daily Wire website.

Written By:

Christina Buttons is a Nashville-based artist and writer. Follow: @buttonslives