Small scale and low-budget thriller about a driver and her passenger, the places they go, and the people they meet. Well like that, but exciting.
I’ll keep this one short: Fox Hunt Drive, Drew Walkup’s directorial debut, is excellent. The story surprised me, the characters surprised me and the ending satisfied me. What else can a film-lover and reviewer want?
Alison (Lizzie Zerebko) is an architect, or at least she was until something went painfully wrong with her career. She hasn’t let herself go but keeps as polished and positive as one can, sending out resumes and applying for vacancies until she’s approached every suitable firm in town. So she starts driving for a rideshare service to pay the bills. Fox Hunt Drive introduces Alison, her philosophy on life, and the patience she grants to her passengers; and then settles down to a night-time adventure with one particularly suspicious passenger (Michael Olavson).
This passenger gives Alison the creeps, first because he doesn’t have the face that appears on her app as the latest customer, then because of his edgy-but-firm manner, and then because of – oh yes – the gun. Does she get the job finished quickly and go home? If only.
Ever since Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker, there have been cautionary tales about getting into cars with strangers or picking up strangers. But I’m happy to say this is not to imply we’ve seen it all before by now. Writers Adam Armstrong and Marcus DeVivo let us get to know these two central characters and gradually, cheekily, make us wonder if we know them at all. Fox Hunt Drive turns out to be a sharply written noir thriller, complete with shifty looks, a seedy drug den, and a dead body in the trunk.
Fox Hunt Drive is a low budget thriller, but that’s just fine: it doesn’t need explosions, big names, or massive special effects, as the writing and the acting are more than enough to make this film work. Cinematographer Anthony C. Kuhnz takes advantage of the rearview mirror and lights in the dark; sure just driving through the night with a shifty stranger behind you can be tense in itself, but presenting a story made up of just two people requires some care. Oh, and it requires top acting as well, of course; and both Olavson and Zerebko are spot on, with alternate spells of rapport and distrust that I couldn’t help but accept, even when instinct said I shouldn’t.
This clever little thriller may not be entirely believable, but to be honest, I got so engaged with the characters and caught up in the night they shared that I didn’t notice at the time: Fox Hunt Drive is exciting. It’s not too long, not too ambitious, not too smart for its own good. It’s fun without being shallow, and I recommend it.
Alix has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. They cover a wide variety, including genre festivals, and especially appreciates wit and representation on screen.