Seraphim Falls (2006)

 


 

Never turn your back on the past. See »

At the end of the Civil War, a colonel hunts down a man with whom he has a grudge. Full summary »

Genre: Drama,Thriller,War,Western

Seraphim Falls (2006)
  
Release Date:13 April 2007 (Taiwan)
Country:USA
Director:David Von Ancken
Cast:
  • Liam Neeson
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Michael Wincott
  • Xander Berkeley
  • Ed Lauter
  • Tom Noonan
  • Kevin J. O'Connor
  • John Robinson
  • Anjelica Huston
  • Angie Harmon
  • Robert Baker
  • Wes Studi
  • Jimmi Simpson
  • James Jordan
  • Nate Mooney


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33 Responses to Seraphim Falls (2006)

  1. dbentley4

    Just saw this boring and pretentious film and it started me thinking. There are basically six kinds of Westerns

    1) The classics (High Noon, My Darling Clementine)

    2) Spaghetti Westerns (The Good The Bad and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More)

    3) Good Revisionary Westerns (Butch Cassidy, The Unforgiven)

    4) Good moderns (Tombstone)

    5) Hopeful modern Westerns (3.10 from Yuma, Young Guns)

    6) Bad revisionary Westerns (like this one)

    I could probably think of more categories, but I’m feeling sleepy.

  2. Demarates

    Pierce Brosnan (Irish himself) uses it when tied up in the tent.

    But is it a racial slur against the Irish or one linked to rice paddies and thus degrading him to the level of the Chinese workers ?

    Smiling is for the weak.

  3. wayvicious

    Isn’t it funny that the McPoyle brother’s from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia also play relatives in this movie? I guess they like to stick together.

  4. hankmcn

    The war was over long enough for him to be home and able to go back to farming which was the normal outcome for most soldiers of the South.

    What was Brosnan’s character looking for? I may have missed something because I thought he was asking Neeson "where are your men".

    I watched the extras on the DVD and I was surprised that the entire film was shot in New Mexico since I thought they would have to visit a few states to get that variety of scenery.

  5. david-sneath

    This film hangs on the availabilty of bullets (or not, as the case may be), but Western purists will have noticed that all the pistols are cap and ball weapons, with integral hinged ram-rods in place. Why on earth are the protagonists feeding shells into these things, which is impossible anyway, and non-sensically these shells being stolen by travellers who seem equally as ill-informed? Wrong guns, wrong calibre, wrong year. Colt’s Peacemaker range with thumbed-in shells wouldn’t arrive for three years yet (1873). And they weren’t that common for a lot longer.

  6. DoctorStrangelove



    [Just some ideas here. Feel free to correct me if I get any of the facts or chronology wrong. I haven't listened to the DVD commentary, so I'm not trying to convince anyone that any of the following is 'canon'.]

    What if EVERYTHING after the scene where Carver uses his one bullet to shoot Hayes is the point where the movie leaves "normality"… and becomes a ghost story? Here are my ideas:

    1. This is a film about personal forgiveness – but it’s not a Christian movie by any means – the presence of a devil at the end certainly doesn’t command any specific religion’s teachings. (Especially when mixed up in the same story with Greek mythology.) I agree with the obvious theme of forgiveness/redemption, but Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on that – plenty of other ghost stories do exactly the same thing. So I just think this has a generic "you gotta let go of your personal demons" kind of message, with a few possible Bible references thrown in.

    2. The missionaries in the middle of the film were ghosts, and the extremely-weathered artifacts we see (piano, etc.) belonged to them in life before their journey met an untimely end. They certainly come across as strange during the night scene: we don’t see them preach; they steal; and they don’t seem to mind licentiousness. Gideon sees them for what they are (in daylight), but in the darkness Carver is blinded to everything by his single-minded pursuit. These poltergeists have no real purpose besides mischief, and they can see Carver has sold his soul to vengeance, which is why they leave him only one cursed bullet – this links them to Lucifer, the other giver-of-one-bullet.

    3. Carver shoots Hayes AND Gideon; they both die. This extraordinary thing is possible because of the cursed bullet the ghost-missionaries left him… everything Gideon does after this point he also does as a ghost. The dialogue from this point on becomes very important: "I’ve been hunting you for I don’t know how long." He’s already killed Gideon, but it isn’t enough! Carver’s family burned – "Your turn now" – but he has overstepped his authority with this desire to "send him down" to Hell. (And Gideon’s "The war is over" has double meaning, too.) Notice that Gideon first quotes the Bible AFTER Carver shoots him? It’s because ghost Gideon sees that Carver’s soul needs rescuing; he needs to let go of his all-consuming hate and allow Gideon to go to the underworld without hindrance. Kind of like how the Old Testament Gideon’s mission was to rescue Israel… but Carver is so blinded, he isn’t even willing to recognize that he has already ‘won’. The movie has shifted from being mainly from Gideon’s point of view to mainly Carver’s POV, and we don’t see Gideon’s death because Carver doesn’t see it.

    4. Carver loses the hand-to-hand combat with now-dead Gideon because he has refused to let go of his vengeance and he is now wrestling a supernatural being. At one point Carver is on top, but loses what would normally be a physical advantage because Gideon simply drags him down. Then Gideon firmly says, "It’s done" when standing over Carver with the knife – because he’s already been "done in" by Carver and is trying to convince him to quit. (Gideon’s choice of words here is actually the only good Christian-symbolism connection, since Jesus’ final words were "It is finished." Of course, there’s an OT story about Jacob wrestling with an angel…) And before leaving Carver in the dust, he prophesies that following him further will only result in "torment".

    5. Mr. Charon is… Charon. Obviously! One does not HAVE to be dead to be ferried to the underworld, as long as you pay – so it’s not a problem that the dead Gideon and the living Carver are both allowed past. Charon’s choice of words to Gideon is interesting, though: he describes the water as "life" (scriptural, or a Dune reference? ;). I take his musings on the value of a man’s life as more philosophical than threatening, or bargaining… because NONE of Charon’s lines here are in direct response to anything Gideon says! However, when Carver comes along, alive… Charon has not only verbal responses to Carver’s questions; but also a gun. He knows that when the living want to cross, it’s usually trouble. And while Gideon paused and said a prayer before entering the underworld, Carver just barges his way in.

    6. Louise C. Fair is… Lucifer. Obviously! (She’s a woman, after all…) This part of the film is pretty obivous; not to mention discussed to death in other threads, so there’s no need for more description. I find it interesting that she lectures Carver about his self-destructive obsession with murdering (the already-dead) Gideon – even the devil knows that moral blindness can lead to something even worse: madness. Unlike Gideon, Carver doesn’t hesitate to make a deal, and once again he’s left with just one bullet. It should be obvious to all viewers that neither man could possibly make it out of that desert alive without supplies. So why does neither man seem concerned about this? Because hate has now blinded Carver to near-madness, and Gideon is already dead.

    7. The final showdown: "Only the dead can end a war." The chase ends, again: man and ghost face off in the underworld. Gideon reminds Carver one last time that his war is over, Carver speaks the aforementioned line, and then… Gideon shoots him. Carver believes that only the dead man can end their personal war; thus, Gideon is forced to oblige him. He then offers Carver one last chance at redemption by refusing to shoot back; Carver (while remembering, or possibly seeing, his dead wife Rose) finally takes the opportunity and forgives him. Carver dies… Gideon gives him water ("life") and then helps up the ghost Carver… and they go (separately) to their individual rewards.

    Yeah, I realize this all hangs on a cursed bullet… but don’t it hang purty?

    He who is tired of "Weird Al"… is tired of life.

  7. LizardKing84

    No info on it in the credits or on IMDb, but did anyone else swear that was Gene Hackman who found that Pierce was gone from the tent at the railroad camp?

  8. shermer75

    …they both died there in the desert, which I kind of feel represents a kind of purgatory (I get the impression from the film as a whole that it is meant to be seen within a religious context, especially as they both strike a deal with Louise C Fair there!) and that they both find redemption there (exonerates the bowels!?! :)) The last shot of the film with the two of them heading back to the mountains, representing Heaven if you are to take that interpretation from earlier in the film, seems to confirm this for me.

  9. bordeaux_boy

    Ce film est raciste!!

    "Ce qui n’est pas clair, n’est pas français." – Rivarol

  10. shermer75

    ….when Brosnan leaps out the horses belly to ambush Hayes. I haven’t seen that in a movie before…

  11. Greyhoundpooch

    the truth is that I love both Liam and Pierce and I couldn’t wait to see this. Overall it is a good movie(slightly disapointed with the ending)

    but as much as I love Liam and Pierce..I still found it rather odd that hollywood cast two scottish actors in the role of cowboys? Is there a problem with American actors? I mean I think George Clooney would have been great in Pierce’s role and Gene Hackman in Liam’s role

    what say you?

    do you find it strange that they cast two scottish actors in a western?

  12. cesetevi

    beginning of the movie is promising and nice however as much as it gets close to the end I started to ask why how questions.I think director didnot want to sacrifice Pierce/Liam over another.This story cannot end like this.A father who lost his wife and baby and lost 2 men on the way to pursue Pierce,do not forget he kills one of them with his gun,in the end doesnot kill Pierce.how on earth could it be possible? First 30 minutes of movie is very nice but after that it becomes a bad movie.I always liked pursuing stories.

    Is there anyone knows why Pierce cuts dead man’s stomach? what does he try to do ?

  13. Materazzi23

    why did brosnan cut open the belly of the first guy that dies of Neesons "crew"

  14. newbubbleboy

    1. Dropping the knife from the tree to hit the hunter in the eye, killing him. Pointlessly silly. Jumping down with the knife would have been fine.

    2. After being quite detailed in Brosnan’s escape, survival and misdirection, the film cops out by having Brosnan ‘give them the slip’ off-screen – reportedly something involving a ravine and a ridge.

    2. Why did the owner of the shack lie to Neeson about selling his horse to Brosnan? He risked having his son killed and daughter raped for what reason?

    3. I can only think that Brosnan threw fern onto his fire to deliberately entice the hunters, and that he proposed then to pick one of them off in the night, or steal a gun etc. But why didn’t they – on seeing his camp – lie in wait and take him down? And did Brosnan stand waiting for hours? Either that or it got dark very quickly. If he did wait that long, did he not think "Where’s the fourth hunter?" Also (this scene bugged me), how the hell did Neeson let Brosnan get away at the end of that scene?

    4. I think I may have missed the bit explaining what happened to Brosnan’s sons. Can anyone tell me?

  15. sgmackenzie

    I missed it during the showing.

  16. neilbentley

    That could go down as one of the most painful films ive ever wasted my life on,avoid at all costs,unless you want to get to the end and feel like youve just thrown 2hrs of your life away!How did it ever get a 6.9,it was 5 at tops and that was simply because it was pretty!It was a weak painfully slow moving simple movie that had more holes than the moon made of cheese!

  17. csider

    …when Pierce Brosnan’s performance is the best thing in it

  18. Allan-All-In

    first of all.. it was hmmm.. too obvious that it was a film?? it was just too constructed .. everything had to fit, and then I’m sorry to say I think it was very badly directed.

    Start of the movie

    —————-

    —————-

    Meet crazy person

    —————-

    —————-

    Meet crazy person

    —————-

    —————-

    Meet crazy person

    —————–

    —————–

    The End..

    the directing lost me, I will try and be constructive about it and pull a few things here.

    1) Pierce Brosnan falls down a waterfall, he gets up, he is soaked, its freezing, he has been shot. He starts running, how long would he get?.. shot, freezing, and wet.. how far does he get? half a mile? a mile?

    apperently he wasn’t more than a "smell" away..

    let me explain.. we see him building a huge fire, and then digging out the bullet from his arm, he then falls over and falls asleep, cut to Neeson and his men being down the waterfall.. they all suddenly look up and one of them goes "do you smell that?" and they start walking he same Direction Brosnan went

    now we cut to Brosnan waking up, the big fire has allmost burned out, so he has been there for a while.. then Brosnan starts creating huge fake trails around the campfire and leaves..

    first then Neeson and his men arrive..

    it apperently took them literally hours to go half a mile towards a fire they could smell, on horseback..

    2) the dried out lake / desert…

    it just seemed like that desert was too small for what was going to happen..

    I know its tricky to tell the distance, but its not like there was a hundred miles to the other side. (but obviously the writer was thinking, yeah a desert, lets bring in the superheating)

    We experience Neeson getting a lot of water, filling his tank.. then he rides a bit and suddenly collaps on his horse.. he then gets up and moves on, (notice now by the way he is suddenly limping, I’m assuming its to slow him down, though he didnt land on his legs, so it makes no sense)

    why did he have that breakdown?.. we knew he slept the night before, we saw it.. so he wasnt tired, he wasnt dehydrated (tank was still full of water), and you could see in the horizon that he wasnt even that far from where he started..

    so what the hell happened? to me it seemed like they wanted a big desert scene of hours travelling in the hot sun, but it was shot in a small dried out lake and it just didnt work.

    3) then theres the flashback, some men set fire to the Mansion of a house that Neeson lives in, the wife runs in the door only seconds after it happens, and in a total of .. hm… 10 seconds the house is completely burned down with her now suddenly trapped inside apperently with no windows or stairs to use.

    Neeson then cries for a few seconds and then he accepts it and turns his anger to the Pierce Brosnan… who for some reason obviously was mentally challenged in that scene… he is so sharp the entire film, but in that scene he just stands there with an expression saying "what?.. who??? how??"

    I could mention hundreds of other things like this..

    I know its small things if you take them individually.. but it just slowly killed it for me, the film seemed more and more unrealistic and strange every minute. and I’m not talking the "devil, angel" artistic side of it that lost me..

    Im talking purely bad directing/editing

    Last Seen:

    Lars Von Triers Antichrist 10/10

    Drag me to Hell 7/10

    Moon 8/10

    Surrogates 6/10

  19. fishadder

    I’m pretty sure after the travelling folk take ALL their bullets the night before, Liam Neesons character has been saving 1 special bullet. He then catches up with Pierce who doesn’t know he only has one bullet which Neeson then uses on his own man whether it was a genuine attempt to shoot thru him and take out both or not(you see Pierce actually check himself for a wound)my point is Liam at least knows he’s spent his last bullet obviously he keeps up the charade of having a fully loaded pistol but after he’s got Pierce to throw his knife down he still advances with the gun and raises it to shoot him as if he himself has forgotten he has no bullets!? He should have tossed the gun after he’s been successful in relieving Pierce of his Bowie Knife and used that on him instead because one more time for good measure – ‘He has no bullets!’

    Does his character just forget this or did the writer and all the cast and crew?

    or more likley did I miss something?

  20. inserte_su_mail_aqui

    Heh, that was kinda lame.

  21. jdkraus

    I saw this film a few days ago and I thought it was good but after reflecting on it, I am confused on a few things about the ending:

    1.) Angelica Huston-was she the character’s hallucination/symbolism of the devil or a real person?

    2.) Why didn’t Liam finish of brosnan’s character? He was determined through the movie, yet it ends with a simple "I forgive you."

    Last movies seen:

    The Philadelphia Story 9/10

    Seraphim Falls 7/10

  22. DenHvideNigger

    Maybe I missed something, but why did he do it?

  23. mrboxoffice007

    Is there s or f words?

  24. cabinartery

    I was just wondering if it’s possible to make a fire with bullets like Gideon (Brosnan) did in the movie?

  25. krayonc

    I never paid much attention to Pierce Brosnan until The Matador. I’m not sure why but after seeing Seraphim Falls I truly realized just how much I underestimated him.

    I liked the movie & thought the twist was one of the best (totally sucked in) but that scene on the mountain where Brosnan is patching himself up in the snow is probably the best acting I’ve ever seen.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t come here and comment on it :)

  26. romone9

    The understated magnificence of this movie may well not reap its just deserts currently. In my humble opinion, its the type of movie that will have a steady and sure climb to classic status. Wonderfully acted, expertly staged and completely re watchable. Shawshank never pulled up any trees upon initial release, but through word of mouth, excellent rental/retail sales, and a timeless story, it has become one of the greatest movies of our time. I believe Seraphim Falls can reach a similar status of notarity.

  27. RunDeckardRun

    In the flashback scene of the house burning, Brosnan grabs his soldier and shouts at him something like ‘You said the house was empty!’ His soldier says something back that is unclear..?

  28. adamseabright

    It is. First 15-20 minutes are especially good.

  29. WWu777

    I just saw this movie and can’t believe how many blunders there are, must be hundreds of them, too many to even list out!

    After Brosnan killed that Joe guy (by dropping a knife from a tree which in real life wouldn’t go through his skull like that, why are the laws of physics different in this movie?) he takes his horse and goes up a snowy mountain. Then when he sees his pursuers coming, he builds a campfire so that they will see him, then he leaves his horse there while he stares at them from behind a tree all night.

    Why did he do that? Why would he make a fire so they could find him? And why would he leave his horse behind and walk on foot instead?

    The film shows him seeing his pursuers riding toward him. Unless that is a goof too. It showed them riding toward him, and then him looking, in that order, so aren’t we to assume that he saw them?

    Then Liam Neelson points a rifle at him at night, but how can he spot him in the pitch black of night? Huh?

    Later on, when he hides out in that house in the snow, it shows Neelson and his party looking at the house, yet they don’t get to it until tomorrow morning? Huh? Why didn’t they just break into it that same afternoon that they saw it while he was still there? That’s weird.

    And when Brosnan broke out of that tent by cutting the rope with that big knife, why did his captors tie him up and let him even have a knife? Captors don’t let you have a knife when they tie you up!

    And at the end, why did that lady from the carriage know that they each needed a bullet? And how did the guy at the water pond know that that black horse was Neelson’s?

    And after Neelson repeatedly betrayed and murdered his own men, wouldn’t the rest of them desert him early on, seeing as how he could not even be trusted?

    warning: spoilers! (how do you cover the text below in red?)

    At the end, when Neelson finally reaches up to him with a gun in his hand pointed at him, why does he fail to shoot him, and instead let himself be shot? If he wanted revenge all this time, why didn’t he finally shoot him?

    And after Liam Neelson was shot and on the ground, how did he get up again to walk? No way! He was also given the chance to blow off Brosnan’s face, but he doesn’t again! Brosnan killed his family and so he should have.

    What a stupid senseless movie!

    And while they walk in the desert, they just disappear? Why no ending?

    Finally, during the whole movie Neelson is always able to follow Brosnan, even when there are no tracks such as when they left the snowy area! There’s no way that he can always know which direction he went like that. How could he be that psychic? That’s ridiculous!

    There are hundreds of blunders and things that don’t make sense in this movie, some of which are obvious. Was this meant to be a comedy? I don’t get it.

    Why didn’t anyone else point all these obvious blunders out?

  30. amikelhenry

    I saw a great deal of similarity with one of my favorite westerns, "the Outlaw Josie Wales. Post civil war period piece. Prolonged chase of Josie vs. Gideon although the north/south sides are switched. Family of Josie’s buthered as Carver’s is. Finally an understanding is reached between chaser and chasee that nothing is to be gained by killing the other. Maybe because this is fresher I found myself liking this movie a little bit better which is saying a lot. Any comments? Thankyou!

  31. relax1977

    Maybe its just me, but does anyone else think the scene (in the railway camp) where Carver goes for his horse was a little racist – and completely unnecessary? In case it passed you by, Carver goes to get his horse, some Chinese immigrant workers are in his way and he then bitch slaps the hell out of one and they all go into submission mode.

    I get that the Chinese immigrants were treated like crap but this scene makes no sense and doesn’t really seem to serve a purpose either!

  32. alexander_korbi

    when pierce asks a soldier if the house was empty he grabs a hold of mark wahlberg

    Need is the ultimate Monkey -Way of the Gun

  33. rakswp

    wassup with that?

    it was snowing and people were freezing their asses off…wake up the next day, pierce doesn’t even need a coat, can’t see his own breath etc etc.

    I guess they shot a part of it in the winter and the rest of it in the summer?

    This was a big glaring oversight to me.

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