Review: Rust Creek

Hermione Corfield in Rust Creek

Rust Creek sets the heroine Sawyer (Hermione Corfield) down in the middle of the Kentucky woods with two men chasing her. She fights her way out of danger through brains and guts and determination. The film is streaming on Netflix.

Rust Creek begins with Sawyer, a college senior, on her way to Washington DC for a job interview. A traffic block on the highway sends her off the main road. She relies on her phone’s GPS to find a route around it and gets lost.

She stops to look at a paper map. Two creepy brothers – Hollister (Micah Hauptman) and Buck (Daniel R. Hill) – come upon her and pretend to help. When they try to grab her, she fights back. She kicks Hollister in the nose, and stabs Buck with his own knife. But Buck stabs her in the leg, a serious wound.

Hermione Corfield in Rust Creek

Sawyer runs. The scenes among the bare trees in the cold woods are evocative of the lonely, unknown route facing Sawyer. She’s bleeding badly. She’s lost without her phone. Like so many of us now, she’s completely reliant on technology to run her life.

Hermione Corfield as Sawyer makes the movie. She’s strong and tough. The two brothers are stereotypes. We soon meet the crooked sheriff O’Doyle (Sean O’Bryan), who is another stereotype. His deputy Katz (Jeremy Glazer) is an honest cop who intends to find out about the car abandoned on the road near Rust Creek.

While Sawyer hides and spends the night in the woods, the outside world begins to look for her. The two brothers ditch her car and go looking to kill her.

Jay Paulson in Rust Creek

Lowell (Jay Paulson) finds Sawyer and helps her. He lives in a trailer where he cooks meth. The meth is marketed by Hollister and Buck, his cousins, and the crooked sheriff O’Doyle.

Lowell binds up the knife wound on Sawyer’s leg, gives her food and warm clothes. He stalls his cousins and the sheriff when they come around and promises to take Sawyer to safety. He’s actually a kind person.

Hermione Corfield in Rust Creek

Sawyer tries to befriend Lowell. They talk a lot about the chemistry of meth cooking. She’s there a couple of days, getting stronger and learning about all the ways cooking meth can blow up in your face.

I found the film uneven. The fight and action scenes were really well done and earn the thriller label on the movie. The final scenes at the climax of the film were brilliantly done. The tension was often hold-your-breath high, but sometimes the pace sagged. I really liked Sawyer’s grit and fight. She was a terrific empowered female heroine. She kicked butt on everyone who was out to get her. Fans of Hermione Corfield should be delighted by her performance.

However the woman in peril setup with these men who seemingly stepped straight out of Deliverance felt too well worn right from the start and nagged at me throughout.

The film was written by Julie Lipson and directed by Jen McGowan. You can read an interesting interview with Jen McGowan at Nightmarish Conjurings.

Poster for Rust Creek

Take a look at the trailer for Rust Creek.

Have you seen this thriller yet? What did you think of it?

2 thoughts on “Review: Rust Creek”

  1. I’m on a moratorium of men-stalking-and-killing-women media products – there’s enough in real life. I’ve really come to see that media like this normalizes violence toward women (despite how plucky the heroine is) and just don’t want to be a part of increasing the demand or market for these images. But I appreciate the heads up on this piece and am glad it’s at least written/directed by women.

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