Erotic photographer Carrie (Forbes) and her lover Brian (Duchovny), a writer researching serial murders, are not so complacent about their lives that they don't feel the need to quit their Pittsburgh pad, head for California and start afresh. But their self-conscious liberalism is shaken when they meet the couple they've agreed to car-share with: Early (Pitt) and Adele (Lewis), poor white trash with few pretensions, minimal manners and even less in the way off intellectual ability. Worse, Early is a psychopath, and even Brian's initial voyeuristic fascination turns to fear and revulsion when the blood starts flowing. Many of the images from this road-thriller look as if they're from a pop promo. More damagingly, Lewis's implausibly gullible Adele suggests that as an actress, she's limited to a handful of coy mannerisms. The plot is schematic, too, loaded with stark polarities, blunt ironies and repetition. That said, however, the film is oddly watchable. Yes, this is opportunistic, shallow and over-extended - but somewhere behind all the faddishness, there's a taut, pleasingly nasty B-thriller trying to get out.
Cast and crew
Gregory Mars Martin