Fallen Drive (2023)

“Fallen Drive” opens up with a silent scene of what looks like a human body wrapped up in garbage bags and duct tape. From there what unfolds is what can best be described as an episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” as directed by Neil Labute. Co-Directors and Writers Nick Cassidy and David Rice deliver what is a powder keg of a thriller that revolves around the concept that high school truly never does end. From the jumping point, “Fallen Drive” is teeming with so much tension that it’s literally seeping from every scene.

Reese and Charlie, a young couple, arrives at an Air BnB for their high school reunion, and touch base with a few old class mates. What none of them know is that the couple has arrived with plans to exact revenge on former classmate Liam for something horrendous that happened a decade earlier. “Fallen Drive” watches so much like a take on “Rope” to where a lot of the events that unfold revolve around one setting and on the inevitability of the walls crashing down on our two main characters. What makes “Fallen Drive” also so gut wrenching is that so much of what occurs depends on what we’ve heard and not what we know. There’s so much of what could have happened the fateful night that inspired this revenge ploy.

Or there’s so much that didn’t happen or couldn’t have happened. Is it all based on perception or did something actually occur? There’s always this air of uncertainty permeating through out the thriller, and can do nothing but watch these people implode before our eyes. Even when we’re sure we’ve seen everything, we can never truly describe what it is that we’ve just witnessed. It doesn’t take much for their plan to literally fall apart, and it’s just absolutely tough to endure. Almost instantly the circumstances become even more complicated as Liam’s younger brother arrives dead set in seeing his brother.

This makes matters so much more difficult to squirm out of, and the pair of directors doesn’t hesitate to emphasize the sense of the walls closing in on Reese and Charlie. Throughout the film the directors zero in on the characters’ faces, emphasizing their inherent desperation. This allows for such an uncomfortable experience because it’s all just a powder keg promising to blow up at any moment. The collective cast does a bang up job, especially Maryana Dvorska and Phillip Andre Botello, respectively. “Fallen Drive” really is a stellar revenge thriller, one packed with so much potent twists and enough healthy ambiguity that’ll keep you debating long after the credits have rolled.

Premiering at Cinequest August 18th and 22nd at the San Jose Theater in California.