This Day in Horror

18 March 2011

Hit and Run 2009 - REVIEW

In 2001 a Ft. Worth, Texas woman named Chante Mallard struck a homeless man named Gregory Biggs as she was driving home, intoxicated of course, from a party. Did this crazy bitch stop to see if the guy that just impaled her windshield was okay? No, she drove home, with the dude lodged in her windshield, and parked her car in her garage. Biggs died from his injuries sometime during the night. Did this crazy bitch call the police? Of course not... she called Clete Jackson who then called his cousin Herbert Cleveland and together they dumped the body of poor Mr. Biggs in the park and set fire to the car to try to hide the evidence. Bad story, good end because she was sentenced to fifty years in prison and the other two dipshits were charged with tampering with evidence. Why am I telling you this? Because it's roughly the plot for the film Hit and Run... I did say roughly.

When Mary (Laura Breckenridge) goes out with some of her girl friends over Spring Break, it seems that they are going to have a fun night. Mary never expects that while driving home after having a few drinks she would encounter a situation that would turn her world upside down and running for her life. On her drive home, Mary swerves to avoid something in the road and narrowly avoids crashing her Jeep into a tree. She is a bit shaken, but seems okay otherwise, so its no surprise that she goes home and goes to sleep. However, she is not allowed to rest for long as she is awakened early in the morning by a strange noise coming from her garage. When she investigates she finds that the source is a man horribly mangled and hanging from the front bumper of her Jeep. When the man makes a grab for her she "accidentally" finishes the job her Jeep started. She then takes his body into the woods and buries it hoping no one will ever know what she'd done.

There's no denying that Breckenridge is a good actress. Good, not great and definitely not strong enough to carry an entire film by herself. Yes, there is still Christopher Shand and Kevin Corrigan but I would say 75% of this film is just Breckenridge running around psyching herself out and fighting a guilty conscience. The few scenes where she actually had to give dialogue were just okay. I haven't seen Amusement in a while but I remember her giving a pretty good performance there as well. So, let me just reiterate that I have no problem with her level of talent, I just don't think she is strong enough to carry a film with minimal dialogue and not much of a supporting cast.
If you didn't read that Kevin Corrigan was in this film, you'd probably never know it was him. He is pretty unrecognizable with the amount of make up on his face, really weird lenses and extremely nasty teeth. Normally, I like Kevin Corrigan, he does great work and his comedic timing is pretty spot on but there was no comedy here unless you count the laughable number of bad decisions Breckenridge's character makes.

Speaking of bad decisions, I'm not quite sure what first time director Enda McCallion was thinking with some of the direction here. Parts of it are so badly put together that that it's distracting and it's stricken with some pretty bad computer graphics as well. For a film with an estimated budget of 3.5 million I really expected a lot more.
If writers Arthur Flam and Diane Donio-Valcroze, who also brought us Penny Dreadful, were trying to deliver a solid horror, it didn't work. For me it was more of a thriller than anything and I use that in the loosest of terms... like a drunk girl on prom night. As I said before there is very little dialogue to it and the last twenty minutes or so of the film are full of one bullshit scene after another. It's laughable for the writers to create a situation where someone drives 90 miles an hour down the highway, rear ends another vehicle and stops for gas along the way with a chick tied to the bumper (with Christmas lights mind you) and no one, no one gives chase.

I think it's a pretty big wake up call for the director and the writers when your film is billed as a horror/thriller and pretty much every review says it's a horror/black comedy. In fact, the more I replay this film in my head, the more and more I dislike it. There's not much of what I would call "impact" gore but plenty of bloody puddles and so forth. If you're bored and have nothing else to watch, I guess it would hold up. But definitely don't go into it expecting anything horrific... or great.

2 comments:

  1. I haven't seen this particular take, but this was a story that really struck a nerve with a lot of folks. It's been the basis for at least two other films, 2007's "Stuck" and 2009's "Accident on Hill Road". I think we can all relate to the mentality of a typical hit-and-run (not saying most people WOULD run, but you can see where fear of consequences overwhelms some people's basic sense of decency), but the idea that this girl just drove home and tried to keep conducting her life while this poor guy was dying in her garage...WTF?

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  2. I have yet to see "Stuck" but I do plan on watching it. There are a few differences between the true story and this one. The girl in the film swerved to miss something and never realized she actually hit someone. He wasn't in her windshield, he was stuck to the front of her grill where she couldn't see him. Now her actions once she discovers him match up pretty well with the case. It's not the storyline I don't like, it's the inconsistency of the film in general. Done right, I can see where it would be a pretty frightening thing.

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