Thursday, October 18, 2018

Movie Review: "Rust Creek" (2018)

Rust Creek 2018 movie still Hermione Corfield
"You can only sit still so long." (Image provided by IFC Films)
Movie"Rust Creek"
Director: Jen McGowan
Year: 2018
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

When a college student on her way to a job interview in Washington D.C. is led astray by her GPS, she finds herself in the backwoods of Kentucky fighting for her life against two assailants who were looking to have fun at her expense.

Rust Creek 2018 movie still Hermione Corfield
"In our life, everyone we meet's a chemical reaction." (Image provided by IFC Films)
If there is one thing we can learn from a thriller like "Rust Creek," it's that you should never under any circumstances leave the interstate for an unfamiliar shortcut no matter what your crazy GPS says. This film is directed by Jen McGowan. It is her second feature-length film. The story is written by Stu Pollard with a screenplay by first-time screenwriter Julie Lipson. The movie centers on a college senior named Sawyer Scott (Hermione Corfield), who is on her way to a job interview in Washington D.C. Due to heavy Thanksgiving holiday traffic on the interstate, Sawyer is given an alternate route from her GPS, which leads her down a backwoods highway to a dead end. While trying to get her bearings and find her way via a traditional paper map, two men (Micah Hauptman and Daniel R. Hill) approach Sawyer's stopped car. They seem to be offering help and directions, but when it becomes clear they are after something from her, things escalate quickly, and the men attack her. Sawyer is left badly wounded despite fighting the men off, but unfortunately, she is stuck on her own in an unfamiliar wilderness. These two men have no intention of leaving her alone and won't stop looking for her until she is dead.

"Rust Creek" is a survival thriller with a crime drama angle about the Appalachian meth trade. Usually, once the survival aspect of movies like this kicks in, the tension is ramped up and hardly ever settles until its conclusion. That isn't exactly the case here, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. "Rust Creek" has tension and excitement in more bite-sized portions. Much of the middle section of the film deals with waiting around....lots and lots of waiting around. In this time, we learn about the meth trade as Sawyer receives an assist from Lowell (Jay Paulson), a meth cooker with a kind heart. The second act involves them forming a bond and talking about their lives and whatnot. A moment will occasionally arise that puts the audience on-edge, which helps keep us engaged and interested. Another factor about "Rust Creek" that we loved is that it is beautifully shot. Cinematographer Michelle Lawler does a wonderful job capturing the isolated and rundown nature of this rural community. As soon as Sawyer drives into town, it looks like a place you'd rather not be. Finally, the acting here is solid all around. Hermione Corfield puts on a good performance as Sawyer Scott, a strong female character who isn't going to shrivel up when she is threatened. Sawyer puts up a good fight when she is faced with an aggressive attacker who won't take 'no' for an answer.
Rust Creek 2018 movie still Hermione Corfield
"You don't want to be out here after dark." (Image provided by IFC Films)
Despite a little bit of dragging in the middle, we believe "Rust Creek" is an engaging thriller that is worth checking out.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~8.0/10
RT Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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