Upon entering a cinematic world, you’re allowing the film to enter your psyche. The potential to be moved by the film is nigh. Where it leads you is solely based upon you. It’s a path that is taken by will, but sometimes, it leads you to places that you never truly expect it to take you. The Fare is exactly that film. It opens on a long stretch of desert road. It’s in black and white. A cab driver, Harris (Gino Anthony Pesi), has accepted to pick up a passenger out in this lifeless area. His passenger, Penny (Brinna Kelly), gets in the cab. All is per the usual with any cab experience: the destination is set, there is small convo and uncomfortable quips, and then your passenger disappears into thin air. Wait, no, that’s not per the usual.
Thus begins that fateful cab ride for Harris and Penny. They are thrown into a continuous loop where the ride starts over with each pull of the meter. What is causing this to happen? Do the radio stations spouting words about aliens and orgasms have anything to do with it? As the loop progresses, the story deepens, and so do the emotions. That’s exactly where I did not expect The Fare to take me. It’s a small story set inside a cab, but it’s a story that expands beyond the ride, and beyond where Harris and Penny believe they are. As their realizations grow, the film’s black and white aesthetic changes to colors that represent the feels that are emoted through the characters and through the story.
“[The Fare] expresses the magic of small filmmaking and the magic that the bond between two incredible characters can portray.”
I don’t want to mislead anyone in making them believe that this is a down and out horror film. There are no jump scares (although I may have tensed up once or twice) and there is no blood or gore. The Fare sets you within a story about two souls, and it leaves you there with them in a single setting. Yet, it doesn’t pull away from the story that it is telling. Gino Anthony Pesi and Brinna Kelly are so fluid in their interaction with each other that you’re enthralled even when they’re having a simple conversation. This helps immensely when realizations are brought about as to the meaning within this loop that they’re experiencing. Building these types of characters in such a way could lead to a sense of boredom but it never reaches that sort of territory. Instead, the momentum gradually increases the more the puzzle pieces are placed together.
I’m attempting to be vague about the plot as I want others to experience The Fare as I experienced it. I only knew the general outline, and this is what made the film so much more effective. It is exactly the type of film that you want to go into without knowing even a bit of where you are heading. The story is unfolded to you as it is unfolded to the two characters. The moments that hit Harris and Penny the hardest should hit you just as hard, and for anyone who has experienced the feels that these two experience, it will hit you hard also.
When you’ve stuck your two characters in a single setting for about 90% of a 90 minute run time, your dialogue has got to be on course for the progression of what is happening. Each reset of the loop brings about new details that settle you deeper within. Aside from the wonderful portrayals done by the two characters, this is where The Fare works exceptionally. The writing is incredible but when all is revealed within the third act, it does seem to stall a little. The reasoning behind the loop isn’t a grand reveal nor is it as strikingly emotional as the story that was set before it was. While it does bring the momentum down a bit, it goes to a place wholly different from where the film was leading you. The saving grace of the third act lies within the still involved performances from Kelly and Pesi. Never do they falter. Never do they grow stale. They are ever-evolving as the story evolves and that evolution is what the movie is about.
The simple but responsive eye of director, D.C. Hamilton, kept me in that cab, as well. Mentioned earlier, about 90% – maybe more – of the film is set within the cab car. One would think that not much visual exposure could be done within a simple cab, but Hamilton proves us wrong. His ability to confine you within the cab car with the two characters is a part of the magic of the film.
Magical. That is a good word to describe the type of place that The Fare takes you. It expresses the magic of small filmmaking and the magic that the bond between two incredible characters can portray. It expresses the magic that comes from the experiences that two characters can or has had. I walked away from The Fare feeling a magic that only cinema can perform. A magic that created a feeling that only a good story can create. A magic within the story that we all have or will experience one day. A magic that will perhaps bring you to cross paths with someone who is just as magical as you are.
“I walked away from The Fare feeling a magic that only cinema can perform. A magic that created a feeling that only a good story can create.”
The Fare is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and on demand from Dread Presents and Epic Pictures. I recommend to watch it to experience that magic that I spoke of while attempting not to give the magic away! Tell us on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, and on The Horror Movie Fiend Club if you felt that magic!