It’s always nice to experience a horror movie that takes place in a unique and inventive new setting. DRIVEN is a fun ride (pun intended) told throughout the course of a night of an Uber driver. Directed by Glenn Payne and starring Casey Dillard, who also wrote the screenplay, and Richard Speight Jr. (“Supernatural”), DRIVEN shows us what happens when what seems like just another pick-up and drop off for Uber driver Emerson, turns into something much more complicated.
The entirety of the movie is shot inside of a car and we begin the film by seeing Emerson on her nightly drives, picking up customers and dropping them off at their desired destination. We hear her practice her comedy routine in between the boring chit chat of various riders while she picks up everyone from girls out on the town, to a sleeping drunk that can’t remember where he’s going, and a couple fighting about where to eat. Things take a weird turn when she picks up a mysterious man who instructs her to drive him to several spots and wait, while he gets out and handles business. At the second location, the mystery man returns, panicking and out of breath and instructs Emerson to drive because they need to leave NOW.
We soon find out that the mystery man’s name is Roger, and he is on a mission to hunt down and find items that will help him defeat an ancient evil that his family released many years ago. Emerson decides to stick around and chauffeur Roger and the two set out in a race against the clock to hopefully vanquish these evil entities and end the curse once and for all.
If you’re looking for jump scares, super bloody scenes, or some twisted psychological horror, you won’t find it here. Throughout the film, we see glimpses of these evil entities here and there but there’s never really any gore or extreme violence. The effects are all practical, and the “monsters” all look like people, which helps the movie feel more genuine. It even veers into a kind of buddy comedy in a few scenes and I think it totally works.
The dialogue is well written and Speight and Dillard easily play off of each other. In the end, it even ends up being kind of sweet, as we see Emerson come out of her shell as the movie progresses. She learns to have confidence in herself and the choices she makes. All it took was a mystery man, a hoard of demons, and an inside joke about a turd spoon. You’ll get it if you watch the movie. I promise.
DRIVEN arrives on DVD and Digital on June 16, 2020, from Uncork’d Entertainment.