Outlaw brothers, Miles and Dominic, are on the run when they come across a remote town owned by a small family of cannibalistic psychos. That’s about the time they realize they may have bitten off a bit more than they can chew.
There are plenty of things going on in Drifer. Sadly, good storytelling and writing are not among them. For starters, there is very little story to work with. That would be acceptable if action and gore were in abundance, but that’s not the case. Not to say that either are atrocious, they’re actually quite well done; there just isn’t enough to salvage the ho-hum chain of events that ensues. There’s also a lack of consistency in style. All three acts pay homage to a different style of movie, but when stitched together, the pieces fail to fit.
The damage done by the lazy writing goes beyond ruining the story. It also ruins the acting. It’s evident that much effort went into making each character unique, but that effort is overplayed, and the results are far more awkward and bothersome than anything else. As a result, each actor overperforms. That said, I’m still not certain whether it was a conscious effort or not. Either way… I shouldn’t have to wonder. Enormous gaps in backstory leave everyone feeling hollow and unimportant, and that’s not something that you can afford in a film of this scale. The details are everything, and Drifter barely has any.
Regardless of the constant flaws in the story, the immaculate visuals are undeniable. Director Chris Von Hoffmann and cinematographer Tobias Deml prove to be a dynamic duo when it comes to creating alluring images on the screen. Since dialog is scarce, the musical composition automatically becomes more prominent; and I’m not complaining. The synth score accompanies the 80’s vibe perfectly. I can’t say the same for the sound effects; though. What starts off as fun quickly becomes frivolous and unnecessary.
Incoherent storytelling and lifeless characters fail to capitalize on the gorgeous world that was crafted for them, and that’s a shame. This one has potential, but the constant desire to be “different” has an adverse effect. Pretty, but forgettable–you won’t miss much if you pass this one over.
Drifter is available in limited theaters on February 24th and VOD platforms on February 28th.