Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

Director Robert Harmon reminds me of Rumpelstiltskin: He spins straw into gold, and nobody knows his name. He made the classic 80s thriller "The Hitcher" and now returns to similar territory with this film about a vengeful widower on the trail of a highway-bound serial killer. It's a clear demonstration of how a director can start with the most conventional story and make it fascinating by applying a keen sense of style. This is one slick movie, with a sharp eye for framing shots in and out of focus. It has no problem coasting on its visuals; the first line isn't spoken until nearly nine minutes into the film. That's probably a good thing, since the plot is not only clich├ęd but economical, giving us almost no details not related to the story; these characters don't seem to have any existence outside of what happens to them in this film. This is far from greatness, but it's worth a rental if you want to see how style can distinguish an otherwise unremarkable film.

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