The Twilight Zone is one of the most beloved television shows of all time. It has been copied, parodied, and recreated many times in the decades since it debuted. Some of the most memorable episodes dealt with time. The Fare is a 2019 movie that evokes memories of the classic series while exploring relationships.
The Fare starts off like any good segment from a horror anthology. Harris is a cab driver on his way to pick up a fare one night. The ride ends up being a charming woman on a deserted road. The two seem to get along until she suddenly vanishes. Harris soon learns that Penny is much more than another fare.
During our 31 Days of Halloween, I wrote an article about how there is not enough romance in horror movies. As if on cue, I watched The Fare. The movie starts off with Harris trying to find something to listen to on the radio. This moment is a great analogy for what the viewers are about to see. From a discussion about aliens to simple lust to actual feelings, the broadcasts are almost a blueprint of what is about to unfold.
The Fare cleverly starts off in black and white. Along with adding to The Twilight Zone vibe of the film, it fits the dialogue and setting. Harris is a smart mouth cab driver talking to his boss over the two way. The scene when he picks up Penny (his fare) looks like something out of 1950’s Hollywood. Again, the snappy back and forth the two have fits the look of the movie perfectly.
This is inspired direction from D.C. Hamilton. Not only does black and white fit the mood of the film, there is a storyline reason for the movie to change to color. Since the action started in black and white, the dialogue and setting do not come off as antiquated. Many movies pride themselves on being timeless and instead, are lost in time. This is never an issue with The Fare.
Camera tricks aside, the story would not work if audiences did not care about the characters. The Fare does a great job of drawing audiences in with the mystery. The premise is a familiar one that never gets tired if done correctly. From the opening scene, different options are thrown out. Naturally, this invites viewers to form their own theories as to what is going on. All the while, a love story is unfolding. The two genres are mixed seamlessly over the course of the story.
The story does have its limitations, however. The two leads are certainly likable, but it is a lot to ask the to carry the entire film. Once the third act turns into a series of flashbacks and twists, it becomes clear this would have been better served as an episode of a television show. The ending plays out as it should, but the lack of characters also ruins the surprise.
That being said, The Fare is not your typical horror movie. The scarier elements of the story are not groundbreaking. Aliens and time loops are normal in the world of sci-fi horror. What the movie does bring to the table is a good old fashioned love story. A tale of unrequited love is as old as time and, in the right hands, can be placed in any genre.