Grimmfest: Night Drive (2021)

Director: Meghan Leon, Bradford Baruh

Running Time: 80 Minutes

Starring: AJ Bowen, Sophie Dalah, Lamar Bell, Reba Buhr, Scott Poythress

As Christmas draws closer, Russell (AJ Bowen) works as a ride share driver to earn some money. His latest customer is the enigmatic Charlotte (Sophie Dalah), whose arrival perks up the night before it spirals out of control.

Screenwriter Meghan Leon shares directing duties with Bradford Baruh, and the pair turn what should've been a simple drive into a comedy of errors. The story best comes alive in the first act, as Russell reacts to how off-the-rails Charlotte's arrival has transformed his night. It helps that Bowen and Dalah share a charming back-and-forth, ensuring that wherever the story goes, their chemistry is marvellously on show.

It's unfortunate that pacing issues impact the middle, as the story seems uncertain what to do before the third act. This conclusion should bring the meat of this tale by tackling desire and the lengths taken to attain it, although there's a lacking resonance to these elements. While the following acts unfortunately stall and sputter, at the least the opening act zooms along with such certainty.

Night Drive played at Grimmfest, and will play at the Virtual Festival.