Manifest West Trailer: Tim Heidecker Is Continuing To Broaden His Horizons With The Serious Thriller

As wonderful as the advancements in technology have been for a multitude of reasons, the inability to ever truly go off the grid often leaves lingering existential and downright dystopian feelings. The newest film from Samuel Goldwyn Films, "Manifest West" sees a family attempt to leave the world behind, becoming self-sufficient and living off of the land. Unfortunately, this isn't the age of manifest destiny and the problems that existed before don't magically wash away with a change of zip code and a refusal to send children to public schools. The coming-of-age film from Joe Dietsch and Louie Gibson centers on a family that grows increasingly violent after moving into the wilderness, told from the perspective of a young girl watching her family fall apart through her very eyes.

Annet Mahendru ("The Americans," "The Walking Dead: World Beyond") and Milo Gibson ("All The Devil's Men," "Hacksaw Ridge") star as the parental figures, with Lexy Kolker ("American Horror Story," "Girl Meets World") as the film's main protagonist. In a bit of inspired casting, funnyman Tim Heidecker has also joined the cast, continuing to prove that he is capable of far more than "Tim & Eric" absurdist sketch comedy and leading a country band that only sings songs about urine. (For the record: he's fantastic at all of it.

The family at first looks like they've secured a newfound sense of freedom, with mountaineers like Heidecker's character thrilled to welcome them to the fold. However, it becomes apparent rather quickly, that this picturesque family is hiding some deeply troubling secrets.

Watch the trailer for Manifest West

Having a young girl's POV for the film is a fascinating choice. We watch footage of her training how to use a gun, and the thought of her becoming a hunter to live off the land feels pretty damn bleak once the government shows up, and there's plenty of footage of shootouts. Are the parents really hoping to keep their family self-sufficient, or has this all been a guise to train their little girls how to take down law enforcement officials by any means necessary? Given the prevalence of conspiracy theories in recent years, "Manifest West" looks like a harrowing thriller about grown adults pushed to the brink of reality. 

As one character says to the father, "This is the world. All you did was move to the top of the mountain." Can we ever truly escape the world? 

The film is the sophomore feature of Dietsch following "Happy Hunting," in which Gibson also starred. "Manifest West" has all the makings of an indie darling and won Best Genre Film at the Mammoth Film Festival earlier this year. If the excitement of seeing Heidecker in a serious turn doesn't already entice you, the plot of this film certainly should.

"Manifest West" debuts in theaters and on VOD/Digital on November 11, 2022.