Despite what some may say or think, I am a big horror fan. I love a good horror flick that can chill me to the bone, make me question every creek and bump in my house, and wake me up several times during the night because the film got to me in such a way that it just crept into my brain. Drifter wants to be that film so desperately that it models itself after other popular, well known, and frankly, better films.
The story is about two outlaws on the run that wind up trapped in a desert town that they have to fight their way out of. Sound familiar? Sound like a little film starring George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino? Yeah, that happens a lot throughout the course of its 85 minute run time.
What was bugging me throughout the movie is I could see some talent with director Chris von Hoffman. His use of color and intense close ups and wide shots really made this a very slick movie to look at. He combined that with some very nice scenery shots that are truly outstanding. The movie just could never get past its plot of recycled ideas.
Almost every scene, no matter how I admired it, always had my mind go to another movie I like even more. I can list five movies in the same vein as this, and it shouldn’t have been that obvious. It didn’t help that the acting was all over the place. From a bland, cardboard performance, to something insanely goofy and surreal, then into something grounded. Drifter was paying homage to so many other films; it forgot to be its own.
In its homage to old horror movies, Drifter goes so far as to have a fuzzy, grainy feel. Even the sound was a little hard to hear sometimes. This is done with intent, to be like those old Grindhouse films, or for me, renting the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre on VHS and watching it on my friends tube TV.
Drifter is a decent horror film from a new director. It shows a lot of promise, but not enough confidence it what it was. While trying to be shocking and new, it recycled what was old in a fairly obvious way. Despite some moments of fun and interesting direction, the movie still didn’t stand up.
Drifter Hits Theaters February 24th followed by VOD & iTunes Feb 28th.