When a robbery-turned-murder occurs in a quiet Kentucky town, and all evidence suggests a local, an honest detective must consider all suspects including his younger brother.

Despite his belief in his brother’s innocence, his professional integrity and a potential promotion are played against him by his partner and crooked leaders as he discovers the community cronyism which dominates everything, including this investigation.


The Story


In Troublesome Creek, a police procedural becomes surrounded with questions more complex than guilt.

The film looks and listens to its characters so that we may empathize and understand their choices. The mood and tempo suggest a certain tragic inevitability flowing towards us. And this tension is the spine of our story. Nothing is for show. Everything is in service of a dramatic collision of inner demons.

The elements of plot unfold and crescendo in a purposeful slow burn. As Jerry and his partner Sheriff Dan evaluate the evidence and conduct inquiries, our attention veers away from the investigation and into something deeper, into a place far more open-ended and rooted in our protagonist’s inner psyche.

Though we arrive at a solution to the murder mystery, the story is not about the solution.

In a story that could have been a straight whodunit, we arrive at a conclusion that reminds us how doubt is an essential part of maintaining our humanity.

Jerry never had any bad intentions. He never intended to hurt his brother. But unvoiced suspicions, decades of pain, and the private loyalties within his family and community, cloud his mind.




Jerry Somerset is about to become a father and is next in line for Sheriff after his boss Little Dan’s elected to Congress.  Solving the case of a recent drug-driven murder would impress the town, but he can’t get his half-brother Andrew, a recovering addict, mixed up.  Jerry’s been a positive influence, contrary to the young man’s alcoholic father and begins concealing facts that might incriminate Andrew.

The Sheriff’s father Big Dan Calhoun sets his eyes on Jerry, providing advice, grooming him to take over.  In the seasonal Lottery for elk hunting, both Jerry and Big Dan are winners.  Big Dan loans him an expensive rifle and makes Jerry a generous offer: one of his vacant beautiful homes. 

Jerry continues to investigate but grows suspicious of Andrew, and realizes he must choose between arresting him as the law demands, or protecting him, as the family demands. The promise of a better life; ambition influence him.  He arrests Andrew.  But, before any procedures transpire Andrew takes his own life in prison.

After the election, Jerry becomes Sheriff.  His wife and baby move into the house and he’s on his way to becoming important.  But, his mother and stepfather blame him for Andrew’s death.

Ultimately, Jerry discovers Andrew was innocent; that Big Dan was playing him all along to keep the attention off the real murderers; that Andrew was helping his step-father in a scheme of his; that Andrew's midnight hours were actually innocent adventures of a man unsure of his sexuality. 

The morning of the hunt, Jerry confronts Big Dan.  Big Dan apologizes but makes it clear he was looking out for his own and expected Jerry to do the same. 

In a dramatic scene about power and leadership, Big Dan expresses a Machiavellian worldview to Jerry; that true leaders often face decisions only they can determine, and measure. Would sending young boys addicted to opioids to prison bring anyone justice, when the crime was a desperate accident? 

If Jerry can support this position he'll join the elite members of the community and ultimately realize the true meaning of power.