A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile.
When Nicole met David; handsome, charming, affectionate, he was everything. It seemed perfect, but soon she sees that David has a darker side. And his adoration turns to obsession, their dream into a nightmare, and her love into fear.
Little Red Riding Hood for the 1990's: After her mom and step-dad are arrested, 15-year-old Vanessa Lutz decides that instead of once again being put into a foster home, she'd rather go and search for the grandmother she's never met, and live with her. "On the way to grandma's house," (actually a trailer park) Vanessa's car breaks down, and she's picked up from the side of the road by Bob Wolverton, a counselor at a school for troubled boys. Bob slowly earns Vanessa's trust, and eventually convinces her to talk about her sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. When Vanessa realizes that Bob is enjoying what she's saying, she realizes that he's "The I-5 Killer," from the news. She tries to get out of his truck, but the inside door handle has been removed... Written by
Daniel Aubrey White <email@example.com>
In other hands this story might have become just another cheesy teen exploitation flick. But in Matthew Bright's "Freeway" we have a solid script, confident direction, an excellent supporting cast, and a gleefully twisted world view, all backing up a boldly brilliant star-turn performance by Reese Witherspoon. Her Vanessa Lutz is brazen, coarse, violent, manipulative, and seemingly doomed no matter which way she turns. But at the end of the day, of every day, she remains her own person, and nothing can intimidate or stop her. Witherspoon seems to live and breathe this demanding role, with never a hint of 'acting a part' -- which is to say she is doing some very fine acting indeed. Vanessa Lutz is a role like Forrest Gump, though even more challenging, where one tiny step out of character would spoil the whole thing. But Miss Witherspoon never misses.
Plus, it was great to see Kiefer Sutherland play a smarmy, goody-two-shoes psychopathic villain. Much more fun than his trained chipmunk limp-wrist tendentiousness in "24." I have seen no evidence that this man can actually act, but he really does not need to here. When he first appeared on screen I thought, 'Oh no, this movie's over.' But soon I discovered, to my delight, that he he had been cast precisely for his pathetic loser quality.
For some reason IMDB classifies Freeway as a 'crime/drama,' which mostly misses the point. It is a diabolical black comedy with lots of violent action, some of it realistic, but most of it wonderfully absurd. All in all it earns a solid 8/10 for being funny and satisfying, a movie which I would happily watch again.
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