I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt when some films end up being extremely similar thanks to maybe a storyline or character or even an actor or two. What I’m not alright with is being a blatant rip-off artist, or not even attempting to make it seem as if your film is different then those that have come before it. Try to be your own individual and make your film exactly the same thing. An individual production that is as different as can be to all those that have come before it. If you happen to accidentally be similar to something released twenty or thirty years ago, then you shall receive forgiveness. But if your film is based on the exact same idea of a film released two years ago then you deserve a big slap in the head.
Back in October, I reviewed a film called Stuck and if you check out that link, you’ll see that my opinion was on the fence about whether to like it or not. It was based on the true case of a woman named Chante Mallard who hit a man one night with her car after being out for some drinks. Instead of stopping, she drove all the way home with him lodged in her car windshield and left him there to die in her garage instead of simply calling for help. Hit and Run isn’t exactly the same film but it is loosely based on it and takes the original idea of the case and Stuck to actually make way for a horror film that ends up turning into a pretty fun slasher flick.
Mary Murdock is a young girl that is on her way home one night after having more then a few drinks and probably should have left her car where it was and called a cab. Her ride home is a shaky one but one that ends up without much problem except that she ran over what she believed to be a small animal. Upon arriving home though, she sees that what she ran over was a man named Timothy Emser who is impaled on her bumper and still alive. Mary debates between sympathy for his troubles and hers but soon realizes that finishing Timothy off with a golf club and burying him in an unmarked grave would be the better decision. Little did she realize that her choices would end up coming back to haunt her for not being the better person.
First of all let me tell you that Hit and Run is more of a dark comedy/slasher type horror film than a comedic drama like Stuck tried to be. It is also ten times better then Stuck is and way more enjoyable. The characters are given just enough backstory so that you actually care about them if they’re bumped off and their deaths come in some fun ways to boot. The film is a dark and disturbing look inside the mind of a girl that one would expect to do the right thing but decides to take matters into her own hands and deliver justice to a man for “getting in the way of her bumper.” I must tell you that it’s not by any means a miraculous find or even one of those films that is a diamond in the rough, but it’s fun for what it tries to accomplish and it does it well. I’m impressed and think I’ve found one of those films I’ll throw in every once and again just because I never expected to watch it in the first place but enjoyed it anyway.
Hit and Run comes with a 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks alright for the most part but this screener disc has some video issues. Some of the darker scenes have the blacks run a little too deep and there are a few other problems but they’ll surely be corrected in the actual release.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and even though it is a screener disc, the audio sounds better then the video looks. Dialogue is heard perfectly and the surrounding speakers actually deliver some good sound effects and moments of dread that will creep you out a good bit.
Trailers – Possession, Mirrors, The Betrayed, and Choke
Hit and Run is a pleasant surprise from a film modeled after the exact same court case as a previous film. In some respect, a film that is even modeled after the previous film as well but it just decided to do it in a different way and also did it better. The violence is there in full form and it is delivered pretty damn well also which kind of makes you forget about Stuck (if you’ve seen it) and the original court case but just focus on what is going on in front of your eyes. Good job. What wasn’t done nicely is the DVD release which has not a single special feature and that is what is needed for smaller films like this released directly to home video. If your film is good and you know it then you need to try and get people’s attention by spicing the DVD up with a commentary, “making of” featurette, or at least something that will give people what they pay for. Go for a rental here, because I’m willing to bet that if you can find a copy of Hit and Run somewhere it’ll be drastically overpriced.
20th Century Fox presents Hit And Run. Directed by: Enda McCallion. Starring: Laura Breckenridge, Kevin Corrigan, Christopher Shand, Joe Hansard, Nitin Adsul. Written by: Diane Doniol-Valcroze & Arthur Flam. Running time: 84 minutes. Rating: Unrated. Released on DVD: January 13, 2009. Available at Amazon.com