Written by J. Weagle
From the very start Curve is not the movie I originally thought it was going to be, but than again I did zero research going in, and quickly had what little expectations I had shifted. Reading a synopsis for Curve your mind probably immediately goes two ways, or at least it did for me. Firstly it’s either going to be a super cheesy thriller in the vein of those early 2000’s teen slashers, or its going to play it straight and strive for a more serious intense tone. And a serious tone is exactly what the film goes for, so much so that it is almost fails completely and ends up being void of personality.
The film follows a young woman (Julianne Hough) who is travelling long distance for a wedding when her car breaks down, and from seemingly out of nowhere she receives help from a friendly shirtless hitchhiker. After repairing her vehicle, she offers to drive him to the nearest hotel, but things quickly turn from awkward conversation to deadly when a struggle between the two forces the car to go off road, and for her to be trapped and taunted by the deadly man. It’s a pretty basic plot that feels as though it has been done countless times before, even if it actually hasn’t, because immediately we can piece together in our heads the direction in which the film will go, and that is exactly what it does.
There are essentially two actors in Curve, with the majority of our time (every scene) being spent with Julianne Hough who plays the part as she should. The real problem being I don’t really have anything else to say about her performance other than that it hits all the right notes, and she comes off as believable, but it’s nothing spectacular. The deranged hitchhiker played by Teddy Sears (American Horror Story) suffers the same fate, though there were times throughout the film where I couldn’t help but cringe, in a bad way, from how cheesy his character comes off. There is no in-between with him, simply a black and white villain who likes to kill innocent people because why not I guess.
That feeling of ‘why not’ is basically how I felt about the plot as well. Predictable things happen and we are left walking away without taking much, or anything at all, away from the film. That doesn’t mean Curve is a bad movie, because it isn’t. In fact it is a very competent film that lacks any reason to exist outside of attempting to showcase the beauty and talents of its lead actress.
The truth is Curve is not a good movie, nor is it a bad movie. It’s not good cheesy fun, nor is it an intense thrill ride that leaves us on the edge of our seats or gasping for air. What Curve ends up being is a basic survival thriller with an alright setup and little in the way of payoff with a somewhat well known actress. For a film there is something worse than being bad, and that is being forgettable, which is exactly what Curve is, and I will have forgotten about next week.