Brad Baruth and Meghan Leon (director)
26 August 2021 (released)
11 September 2021
One of the most pleasant of surprises at FrightFest was Night Drive which writer and co-director Meghan Leon with Brad Baruth said isn’t a horror film during the introduction. Be that as it may it is a film that will cross genres having a quirky sense of humour, with a thriller dynamic blended with ScFi and some brutal violence.
An Uber type driver Russell (AJ Bowen) picks up Charlotte (Sophie Dalah) who slips off from her final destination to pick up a box from her ex-boyfriend. Dashing away at full speed. The rest of the night is the pair getting to know more than they want of each other not to mention running down a man, a couple of murders and a jaunt round Robert Dyas type place looking for tools that for the experienced eye, or not, could be used for a number of nefarious purposes.
The film revolves around Russell and Charlotte with Russell to start with very much in catch up mode while Charlotte goes from one extreme to another. The power dynamic shifts a couple of times during the film and the night as they get to the final destination, and the secret in the box.
It’s a fascinating combination as they pull on each other for laughs as their stories come out. Charlotte is originally from Australia basically buming around while Russell is a divorcee who’s a business failure too. Both are in some sense lost though there’s never any chance that these two could ever become a thing.
It can’t be understated either what the locations and landscapes add to the film with Los Angeles at night looking both beautiful with a quite obvious grim underbelly that the film doesn’t shy away from. This plus a wonderful score from Michael McQuilken lifts the film from its obvious low budget thriller roots into a classy, daresay arty heights. Well worth searching out.