Nov 27, 2019
Against my better judgment, we’re welcoming back Shane Hyde to the podcast for another horror movie review, this time hopefully one he enjoys a bit more. After last week’s review for “Nightmare Cinema”, I’m sort of surprised he came back for more. For a few other reviews from Shane, check out “Nightmare Cinema” (Episode #647), “Starship Troopers” (Episode #447), and his incredible narration duties as part of Reign of Terror 2019.
Before the review, we’ll have a promo from our good friends at the Moviedrone podcast. Every episode, Marc and Steve sit down to discuss films, including a main feature, some homework for each other, a question from the audience, and my favorite segment, Marc’s Movie Impressions. Don’t miss their guest review here for Reign of Terror 2019, covering the indie darling, “Terrifier” (Episode #606). They weren’t much help, though, to be honest. At least not for me. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram @movie_drone and on Facebook @Moviedronepod.
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Here we go!
<< MOVIEDRONE PROMO >>
I’m Shane Hyde. I’m a Kiwi living in Australia. Everything’s on fire here so I’m staying inside, reviewing movies, and to Joe’s annoyance, frequently missing deadlines. Today I’m here to review 2019’s RUST CREEK.
Today’s movie is RUST CREEK, a thriller directed by Jen McGowan, written for the screen by Julie Lipson from a story by Stu Pollard. RUST CREEK is a thriller, cut from the grim cloth of Kentucky. In a similar style to WRONG TURN, Sawyer, outstandingly played by Hermione Corfield, finds herself face to face with the worst that Rust Creek has to offer.
Stand by, because I ain't spoilin' shit.
Lost and seeking directions, Sawyer encounters O'Doyle and Buck, two of the locals who you GOTTA know are already up to no good. This encounter sours quickly, and before you know it, Sawyer is quite literally cutting and running for her life into the woods.
And let's have a word about those woods. Set in the forests of Kentucky, RUST CREEK imparts a grimy peacefulness, in concert with the soullessness of the hillbillies living there. The environment leaves you with a sense of hollow claustrophobia, even distant dread. Michelle Lawler's cinematography makes the most of this and marks her as someone to watch in the future.
I like this film. Finally we get Sawyer, a strong female protagonist making what are really the right decisions. While technically she's the “Last Girl”, not once does she loses her agency, her curiosity, or her intellect. Sawyer is a stronger female lead than you might expect in a film like this.
The other standout is Lowell, played with bright-eyed intelligence by Jay Paulson. The mysterious and intelligent hillbilly who lacks in book learning more than makes up for it with keen insight and perception of a situation. As a character, he supports Sawyer's strength with a quiet watchfulness.
Production in this film is as tight as the budget must have been, which means the work falls to the shoulders of the actors who each deliver a strong performance. Pacing suffers a little near the middle, but interest is maintained as characters interact. And as they interact, the twists and turns of the plot are revealed, and there’s something quite satisfying with the way that RUST CREEK plays out. Lowell tells the story of how Rust Creek got its name. At the end the waters run red once again.
RUST CREEK is an edge of your seat thriller with a strong, capable female lead. Not a horror, but bloody nonetheless.Take a trip to Kentucky and explore Rust Creek with Sawyer. Worth it for her character alone.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84% (CERTIFIED FRESH)
One Movie Punch: 7.5/10
RUST CREEK (2018) is rated R and is available on most USA streaming services, and SMOKE ME A DINGO! It isn’t yet available here in Australia!