You’re watching a movie that has lured you in with a strong opening and great acting. The plot is clear and easy to follow, and you’re confident where the film is headed. Suddenly, the plot takes a sharp U-turn and transforms into something entirely different. This is thrilling and adds to the overall experience until you notice the gaping plot holes that come along with the twist and your enthusiasm crumbles.
Fox Hunt Drive follows this story arc. Viewers are introduced to each character, the plot is concise and easy to follow, and out of nowhere it deviates. While this is typically an effective tactic for any film, the issue with this particular exhibition lies in a massive plot hole, and various questions that accompany this choice.
The film follows a rideshare driver named Alison, played by Lizzie Zerebko. After a long day of driving, Alison decides to undertake one more ride request and comes in contact with Mike, played by Michael Olavson. Alison uncovers disturbing paraphernalia in Mike’s duffel bag during the trip, and the two continue on a tense, nerve-wracking car ride full of twists and turns.
Lead actress Lizzie Zerebko offers a strong performance for the first hour of the picture. Her acting is authentic, her fear is palpable, and viewers feel invested in her storyline. Once the plot hole reveals itself, her previously solid acting seems to dwindle and our investment in her character suffers. Zerebko has previously had small roles in various television series, including Dear White People, and numerous short films including Stalkr. For Zerebko’s first feature film, she offers an impressive performance that could benefit from some fine-tuning.
Michael Olavson also exhibits a convincing performance as the suspenseful passenger. While this is not Olavson’s first feature film, he has more frequently been featured in shorts, television movies and mini series previously. Olavson has a solid performance throughout that does not waver, even when the twist is presented. Fingers crossed that we see much more from him in the future as he adds an unforgettable element to this picture.
The motion picture has a very distinct style to it, thanks to director Drew Walkup. Having predominantly produced and edited works in the past, this movie is only Walkup’s fourth directorial work, and the first feature film of that small handful. Part of Walkup’s distinct style lies in the shots between the two lead characters while in the car. Quick flashes between the rear-view mirror showing Mike in the back, and close-ups on Alison driving are particularly effective. These shots display tension building between the two while also piquing the audience’s anxiety.
It’s hard not to appreciate a thriller or horror film that attempts to give audiences a new perspective that they did not see approaching. If successful, we are presented with a spine tingling piece that we rave about for years to come, such as The Sixth Sense. If not successful, we feel more let down than anything else. Fox Hunt Drive offers up a creative twist on a silver platter, but it also reveals too many questions that are simply left unanswered and take away from it.