(My review of In the Electric Mist is up on GreenCine Guru. Here's the lede:)
In the Electric Mist
Reviewer: Craig Phillips
Rating (out of 5): ***½
In the Electric Mist is based on one of my favorite modern mystery novels, James Lee Burke's "In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead," a whodunit with touches of southern Gothic ghost story. A few things are rearranged from the book -- one key murder happens later in the film, for instance -- but screenwriting team Jerzy and Mary Olson-Kromolowski (who wrote the somewhat similarly toned The Pledge) remain largely faithful to the story. Veteran French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier (A Sunday in the Country, Round Midnight) is not as odd a choice as director as it might appear on the surface; after all, arguably Tavernier's finest work is the fantastic Coup de Torchon, which transplanted a seedy Jim Thompson pulp novel into colonial Africa. Yet despite this pedigree the film never even saw a legitimate theatrical release here, instead getting dumped unceremoniously to DVD. While it is far from perfect, it is quite a bit more interesting than that fate implies.