Twilight Zone Romance

Greek mythology takes a detour into the Twilight Zone for director D.C. Hamilton’s The Fare. One of the year’s more clever and romantic films, a recurring time loop creates an intimate indie film about a cabbie picking up a mysterious passenger.

The captivating mystery stars Gino Anthony Pesi (Shades of Blue) and Brinna Kelly (The Midnight Man). Besides playing the mysterious passenger, Kelly is behind The Fare’s ingenious screenplay. This is one movie worth a second watch looking for all the easter eggs left behind by the filmmakers.

The Fare earned wide acclaim when it hit the indie circuit. The compelling thriller won a Special Mention Jury Award at Fantasporto, Best Dark Fantasy/Supernatural Film at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival, and the Director’s Prize for Overall Concept and Execution at FilmQuest.

… avoid all spoilers for The Fare

Harris is a solitary cab driver used to being on his own. He picks up a mysterious fare one night when he meets the enigmatic Penny. Without spoiling The Fare’s essence too badly, they soon become stuck in a recurring time loop that keeps resetting back to when Harris picked her up. Both their lives are changed forever in this amusing and tender exchange.

Definitely avoid all spoilers for The Fare. There’s nothing else that can be said about the central plot without ruining its mystery and surprising charm. Romance, darker themes, and humor play into the movie’s narrative power.

Penny is an enchanting woman, able to converse intelligently on everything from Jack Kirby to stripping. Harris is eminently likable as a friendly cab driver. There is an immediate connection between them. Their conversation is only disrupted by a grouchy dispatcher for the cab company.

The Fare has smart storytelling that succeeds in surprising viewers with unforeseen twists and turns. All the more amazing is how everything boils down to two people stuck together in a cab. The single setting and limited cast will remind everyone of a stage play in some respects. Sometimes, budgetary limitations inspire creativity instead of stifling it.

Vibrantly told and crafted with care, The Fare is brilliant indie filmmaking. Genuinely intriguing mystery and two leads that share fantastic chemistry make for one of the year’s best cult films.

Video

Filmed in only six days, The Fare has the digital sheen of a new indie production made on a tight budget. There’s enough clarity and definition inside the cab itself, filmed in a controlled environment on a set. The day-for-night shooting for the cab’s looping journey is less impressive.

The 1080P video isn’t packed with detail but offers nice sharpness. A mild cyan push and warmer tones are used in the digital grading. The film opens in black-and-white, slowly changing over to color as Harris remembers more and more of Penny’s trips.

Released by Epic Pictures, the 82-minute main feature arrives on a BD-25. The 2.39:1 presentation is encoded in serviceable AVC with no overt artifacts. It’s a professionally handled transfer without problems, replicating the movie as intended by the filmmakers. The Fare’s picture quality is decent outside of exterior night shots. Shadow delineation is acceptable and black levels have no crushing.

Audio

The low-budget indie flick comes with adequate 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. A shame Epic Pictures is still using lossy audio in 2019 but this isn’t Transformers with millions to throw at the audio.

The Fare’s basic surround mix and serviceable audio design are well represented. There’s enough low-end activity and active immersion for a convincing cab ride into hell. Dialogue is adequately prioritized and intelligible, if overwhelming some of the time from the dispatcher.

Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles play in a yellow font, always inside the 2.39:1 widescreen presentation. A secondary 2.0 English Dolby Digital soundtrack is included.

Extras

Epic Pictures (via their DREAD label) releases The Fare in a loaded Blu-ray edition. Two commentaries, deleted scenes and more featurettes are included. About the only things missing from the indie film are a slipcover and maybe an interview with star Gino Anthony Pesi. The Blu-ray is coded for all regions.

Feature length audio commentary with director D.C. Hamilton – A considerate and thoughtful commentary discussing many phases of the production.

Feature-length commentary with star/screenwriter/producer Brinna Kelly – A very engaging and genuine commentary discussing her inspirations and motives for certain elements in the script, among other topics. Kelly is a good conversationalist that knows how to entertain listeners while keeping things relevant. She’d make a great dinner guest.

Gag reel (03:26 in HD)

“Alternate Realities” — Unused Footage Montage (01:35 in HD) – Director D.C. Hamilton explains in his intro this alternate footage leftover from the shoot that provides a different perspective on the movie’s familiar settings.

Beyond FM (01:03 in HD)

Flashback Scene Breakdown (02:53 in HD)

“The Look of The Fare” (09:02 in HD) – Cinematographer Joshua Harrison and director D.C. Hamilton discuss how the movie was graded and challenges of shooting in only six days.

“Lost in the Fog” Extended Sequence (04:37 in HD) – A darker take on the scene when Harris keeps driving.

Original Opening (02:06 in HD)

“Secrets of The Fare” (15:17 in HD) – Screenwriter and star Brinna Kelly breaks down The Fare’s connections to Greek mythology.

DREAD Trailers (05:46 in HD) – Trailers for Harpoon, Candy Corn, Automation, and Red Letter Day

The Fare Trailer (01:30 in HD)

The Fare Teaser (01:04 in HD)

The Fare TV Spot (00:30 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Fare
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A thrillingly mysterious and romantic journey for a cab ride stuck in a time loop. Smart indie filmmaking with two great leads and a fresh premise.

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