REVIEW: Drifter (2016)

drifter

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2016, Green Star Films

Director:
Chris von Hoffmann
Producer:
Chris von Hoffmann
Writers:
Chris von Hoffmann
Aria Emory
Cinematography:
Tobias Deml
Editing:
Chris Visser

Cast:
Aria Emory (Miles Pierce)
Drew Harwood (Dominic Pierce)
Monique Rosario (Vijah)
James McCabe (Doyle)
Anthony Ficco (Latos)
Rebecca Fraiser (Sasha)
Joseph Atash (Kane)
Jack G. Davis (Ivan)
Melissa Raquel (The Woman)

Short film director Chris von Hoffmann makes his feature film debut with this better than expected mix of various filmmakers and some noteworthy horror films.

In the post-apocalyptic future, Miles and Dominic Pierce are two outlaw brothers driving through the desert with one simple thing in mind: survival. When a robbery goes bad and results in Miles getting shot through the hand, the duo head off and on the way, are confronted by three attempted carjackers. Dominic, the more level headed of the duo, stops the carjackers. However, the worst is about to come.

En route, the brothers find the desolate town of Demyl. They find a young woman named Vijah, who offers to nurse the injured Miles. They hide out in her house. However, the brothers will soon learn that the town is actually run by a band of insane psychopaths led by the red-headed Doyle. And to make things worse, these crazy residents have a certain fixation, now forcing the brothers in a situation they never imagined they would be in.

Co-writer and director Chris von Hoffmann has practically done it all. Going from production assistant to short film director, he makes his feature film directorial debut with this action-horror film that really brings a bit of shock value in terms of tone and grit. What makes the film extremely interesting is that there are no real good guys in this film. Everyone in the film are all flawed with the two brothers being more anti-heroes who struggle to survive.

The acting is actually pretty good as well for this genre of film. Aria Emory and Drew Harwood are really great to watch as the polar opposite brothers. Emory’s Miles is truly a hot-headed type who suffers for his attempt to rob a clerk in the film’s opening scene while Harwood’s Dominic is the more level headed and protective big brother type who will do anything to help his brother. James McCabe, Anthony Ficco, and Rebecca Fraiser are just both fun and menacing as the core trio of the town’s psychopaths while Monique Rosario’s Vijah is somewhat reminiscent of the character of Ruby in the original Hills Have Eyes.

Which brings us to the tone of the film. The film starts out as a road movie in the vein of perhaps Mad Max if it were to be done by the likes of Robert Rodriguez or even the old school Quentin Tarentino. The film then delves into a tone that meshes the original version of The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a meshing of very little gore with the subliminal nature of what these psychopaths are all about.

Drifter is truly a wild ride of a film that pays homage to the likes of indie filmmaking with the likes of the tones of both the original Hills and Chainsaw. If you like action and you like horror, then you are going to enjoy this one. Truly better than expected.

WFG RATING: B+

XLrator Media will be releasing this films in theaters on February 24, followed by an iTunes and Video on Demand release on February 28.

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