I could make a big deal about the fact that Rust Creek is a female-driven film with director Jen McGowan, writer Julie Lipson, and D.P. Michelle Lawler. Whether a motion picture is good or not should have nothing to do with the gender of the creatives. A movie is good solely because it’s good. The lesson here is that women are just as capable as men to tell any kind of story brilliantly, period. So, give them a chance.
Back to Rust Creek. Its production design’s look and feel are comparable to any mid-size budget big studio film. Speaking of which, there are no special effects or elaborate stunts used to add unnecessary excitement to an already good story. The point here is that anyone can make a quality thriller without the bells-and-whistles Hollywood thinks its thrillers need.
Julie Lipson’s story moves at a brisk pace and covers everything. It’s not lazy in any sense of the word and ties up most loose ends. The moment you say to yourself, “but what about…?” that fact is quickly addressed and resolved in a way that advances the story.
“The moment you say…‘ but what about…?’ that fact is quickly addressed and resolved…”
For example, Sawyer loses cell phone power during a call with her mother, and then, of course, mom is going to file a missing person’s report. Sawyer’s car is abandoned on the side of the road. This is an integral part of the plot and is used beautifully on two separate occasions. Let’s also add the sheriff’s investigation that takes a twist, which thriller fans will see coming, but still sneaks up on you.
The acting is good, especially by indie film standards. As Sawyer, Hermione Corfield is probably the most famous of the cast. She is the movie’s solid foundation and carries it to the finale. She’s believable, strong, and sympathetic. What I love most is she never conveniently gains some kind of adrenaline raged super-power to fight the baddies. She’s a real college student desperate to survive. Her relationship with her “captor” Lowell is just what is needed in the second act to slamdunk the ending.
Let me end by saying that Rust Creek is an excellent example for future independent filmmakers to show that the action genre is not outside their reach.
"…delivers the same thrills as compared to a big studio movie."