An incredibly stylish outing, Julien Seri’s Night Fare proved a pulse-pounding, kinetic thriller that had the Frightfest crowd lapping up its neon-drenched violence.

What appears at first a simple tale, but opens up into something far deeper as it progresses, the film succeeds thanks to having a somewhat outlandish tale grounded in a very real setting.

We start the film with Chris (Jonathan Howard), heading back to Paris in a bid to rekindle his romance with Ludivine (Fanny Valette), who he left in the lurch two years previous.

The trouble for Chris though is that his mate Luc (Jonathan Demurger) has moved in on Ludivine in his absence, leading to a very awkward friends love triangle.

Eager to show his English mate a good time, Luc and Chris head partying, before hopping in a cab to get back to Luc’s apartment.

Things take a massive turn for the worse though when Luc decides to bail without paying, leaving Chris to follow suit.

But, unlucky for our pair, they’ve picked on the wrong taxi driver, one who isn’t going to give up on that fare so easily….

Howard and Demurger make for a very believable buddy pairing, with their bickering allowing Seri, Cyril Ferment and Pascal Sid’s script to open up into something much more expansive – with a handful of flashback scenes adding an emotional weight to the film that proves very welcome.

As the taxi driver Jess Liaudin is a terrifically menacing presence – silent, moody and lethally effective whether it be with his car, his fists or even a samurai sword.

But Seri’s direction is very much the star here, with the film’s night scenes allowing the helmer to concoct some dazzling visuals (aided by a great soundtrack), most notably the aerial shots of the taxi prowling the Paris streets.

There are obvious echoes of films like Duel and Taxi Driver going on here (even films like Christine and The Car), while the neon-drenched night scenes reminded me in many ways of Michael Mann’s Collateral.

But Night Fare is very much its own beast, and I admit the route Seri takes as an ‘explanation’ as the film draws to a close really caught me by surprise – at first, I wasn’t sure I ‘bought into it’ (it does requires the suspension of disbelief), but it certainly works in elevating the film above a mere ‘psycho in a car’ flick.

Night Fare proves a slick, eye-catching thriller that takes you on one hell of a ride.

 

Frightfest London review: Night Fare
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (8 Votes)

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.