It feels like an urban legend.
Two kids steal a Cop Car. As luck would have it, it’s not any cop car, it belongs to the county Sheriff Kretzer (Kevin Bacon). And the Sheriff is very far from being a good guy. Does sound like a tall tale, but this one is far from a tale for kids – although it could be one that kids could tell each other just to scare themselves. The kids, are the right mixture of innocent but adventurous, so when they first run into the seemingly abandoned vehicle it goes as you think it should go. The seemingly most daring, Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) immediately turns to shy introverted Harrison (Hays Welford) and tells him: “I dare you to touch it.”
Initially, it’s just child mischief that urges the young boys to steal the car. However, soon enough the movie betrays darker mayhem as it reveals why the Sheriff has stopped in a place in the middle of nowhere. There’s going to be some parental reactions as the kids soon discover the cruiser has some guns in the back. As they play around innocently enough but also dangerously with loaded weapons and a moving vehicle, they are completely unaware that the car might have one surprise waiting for them in the trunk.
Director Jon Watts brings out an evenly keeled thriller where kids will be kids and trouble may soon find them. Co-produced by Kevin Bacon, it’s a bit of a throwback to a minimalistic thriller where the open road seems to beckon but for Harrison and Travis, the cost of survival might be their own innocence. This will not end well.
Strongly recommended. If you are concerned parent, you might flinch at the kids playing with a car and a bunch of weapons. But this is a cautionary tale and not one that ignores the naive or the guilty. Buckle up.
That will do for now.
(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)