THE FARE - “Full of Curious Surprises and Honesty”

“Life is a journey and not a destination”. This old saying tells us that the many experiences and hardships of life are the true reward, and come in the form of wisdom, rather than our intended goals. This hits at the heart of the newly released sci-fi/thriller "The Fare", from writer Brinna Kelly and director D.C. Hamilton.

"The Fare" begins with Harris, a man in his mid thirties who’s occupation, driving a cab, is to reach the final destination of his passengers while patiently passing the time during the journey. But on this fateful night – as if being told by Rod Serling himself – his passenger never reaches her destination, and neither does Harris.

As Harris, Gino Antony Pesi, drives down the dark and stormy deserted road, he stops to pick up Penny, Brinna Kelly, who shares with him some pleasant and even flirtatious small talk. Harrison drives on as he can see an electrical storm approaching in the distance. He and Penny continue to chat as the lightning moves closer and more frequent, and during one of the brilliant flashes, Penny is gone. Harris’ backseat is empty and he finds himself at a loss for words as he tries to explain what happened to his dispatcher, voiced by Jason Stuart.

As dispatch tells Harris to forget it and to come on back into town, Harris resets his cabs meter. And in an instant, Harris is transported back through time and space right where he was moments ago approaching Penny on the dark and stormy deserted road.

At first, Harris only has the most vague sense of deja vu, but as this string of events repeats itself several times, Harris notices what is happening and makes a conscious effort to remember.

As it turns out, he and Penny have been stuck in some infinite loop with only Penny having any memory of it, until now. They talk over their predicament and Penny runs down all of her attempts to either break the loop or to get Harris to remember her. But, the loop persists and the two find themselves getting to know each other as they pass the time riding down the same stretch of road, timelessly. Again and again.

Eventually, Harris is able to piece together that Penny isn’t quite just another nameless passenger for him to deliver across town in his cab. She has been keeping secrets, both about their past, their relationship to one another, and also why they can’t seem to reach her final destination without her disappearing.

As I said before, this is a sci-fi/thriller, but by the end it loses it’s sci-fi pretense and takes on a more mythical quality while retaining it’s very Rod Serling sensibilities.

Different from the vast majority of horror and strange fiction that I cover in my reviews, "The Fare" is a bit lighter in nature. Deep down "The Fare" is about forgiveness and moving on after losing someone close. It’s about never regretting the risk and heartbreak that sometimes follows it. To work in another literary quote, "The Fare" is as much about the journey as it is “better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”.

Harris goes on a mysterious, funny, sexy and, at times, very touching journey (double entendre intended) which forces him to grow as a person to over come his past, which I will remain tight lipped about for those of you who interested in checking it out.

But I will say this, "The Fare" is one of those minimalist indie flicks that pools it’s resources into one location with just a few characters and a strong concept. And it works really well. High production values are present with a stylish, mostly black and white look that is representative of Harris’ memories – becoming color as he remembers more and more. The use of black and white also helped inform my assessment that The Fare could have served as an extended episode of "The Twilight Zone".

The acting of Pesi and Kelly is really great. They seemed to share some chemistry on screen which really helped sell their romantic involvement.

With that said, "The Fare" is a fun film. It’s full of curious surprises and honesty. If you’re a die-hard horror fan who’s dead inside, like I am, then give "The Fare" a shot. It left me feeling good and why shouldn’t you feel good too? If you haven’t picked up on the clues yet, here are two more; “twilight” “zone”.

"The Fare" was made available on BLU-RAY and VOD recently by the fine people over at Epic Pictures.


★ ★ ★

"A taxi driver finds himself trapped in a time loop. He picks up a pretty woman in a rural area at night. Later she disappears. The loop starts over, when he switches the meter back to vacant. "