Review: RUST CREEK Is Polluted With Cliches


Rust Creek is a generic, mostly unexceptional thriller with some decent performances that make it slightly more interesting than it should be.
Technical Merit

Rust Creek is a new thriller film directed by Jen McGowan and starring Hermione Corfield. It is about a college student who gets lost in the Kentucky backwoods on her way to a job interview, forcing her to take refuge from the harsh climate and a group of criminals that have their eyes set on her.

The single biggest issue that this movie has is that its story is extremely generic. It’s just another “stuck-in-the-woods” movie. This is a genre whose time has come and gone and is now outdated. Deliverance is the only film to have pulled off this genre with adequate suspense to justify the reliance on cliches and stereotypes.

The pacing of the movie is ridiculously slow too. It is pretty short, but feels much longer because it contains long stretches in which almost nothing happens. Additionally, there is a significant tonal shift part of the way through the film. It switches from a survival thriller to a drama about making meth. This is a very jarring transition, and any suspense that the earlier part of the movie built is destroyed.

rust creek running
Hermione Corfield as “Sawyer Scott” in Jen McGowan’s Rust Creek. Courtesy of IFC Midnight. And IFC Midnight release.

Another issue that the film has is that its characters are significantly underdeveloped. Fortunately, there is some natural sympathy for the protagonist because of the situation in which she finds herself. The audience wants to root for her to survive. However, the movie seems to be incapable of using even such basic human pathos as the character comes across as frustratingly ignorant.

The supporting characters weren’t much more well-written. The two main antagonists, Hollister and Buck, are extremely generic. They aligned so closely with the archetypes that their villainous antics weren’t even interesting to watch. Every single move they made could be mapped out from the beginning of the film.

rust creek hiding
Hermione Corfield as “Sawyer Scott” in Jen McGowan’s Rust Creek. Courtesy of IFC Midnight. And IFC Midnight release.

Two other supporting characters are written to be morally ambiguous, and the script fails at creating the duality necessary to pull this off. These characters have one or two scenes in which they show potential — a potential which could have made the movie much more interesting as a whole — but this potential is never fully explored. Instead, the characters, like the protagonist and the antagonists, come off as ignorant. It is hard to care about a film in which almost every single character is stupid.

That being said, the actors were able to make the most of the script that they were given. Hermione Corfield does a solid job as the protagonist. The character isn’t particularly complex, but she is able to convey the level of fear and emotion required by the movie. Micah Hauptman is also good in his role, making the protagonist much more menacing than he otherwise would have been.

Overall, Rust Creek is a mostly unexceptional film. It isn’t awful, but it isn’t particularly interesting either.

Rust Creek is in select theaters and on VOD beginning January 4.


Find Your Voice: National Voter Registration Day • Hulu

Your voice deserves to be heard. Take this #NationalVoterRegistrationDay to make sure you’re registered to vote. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: START YOUR FREE TRIAL FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: Hulu on Twitter: Facebook:

Emily in Paris | Official Trailer | Netflix

Say oui to new possibilities! Emily in Paris, a new series from Creator of Sex and the City, Darren Star, premieres October 2. Only on Netflix. SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across…

Watchmen: Regina King Is Angela Abar | HBO

Regina King’s masterful Emmy Award-winning performance as Angela Abar (aka Sister Night) is everything we need it to be: fierce, poised, heartfelt. Get to know Watchmen’s nun with a gun. #HBO #WatchmenHBO #ReginaKing Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Based on the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC, Damon…

The Comey Rule | Official Trailer #2 | SHOWTIME

Jeff Daniels and Brendan Gleeson star as former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald J. Trump in this two-part event series that tells the story of two powerful men, whose strikingly different ethics and loyalties put them on a collision course. Watch the premiere on September 27 at 9/8c on SHOWTIME. #SHOWTIME #TheComeyRule Subscribe…

Timothee Chalamet & Armie Hammer Having Sexual Tension for 5 Minutes Straight

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer together? Say no more. We are absolutely here for it! » Rent Call Me By Your Name on Prime Video: » SUBSCRIBE: About Call Me By Your Name: Amid the summer splendor of 1980's Italy, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire that will alter…

Barry Jenkins and Lulu Wang, Presented by Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

Filmmakers Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) share what's helped them to find success in their careers and discuss their shared love for animal onesies. Watch more from Bottomless Brunch at Colman's! Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #AMC #ColmanDomingo #BottomlessBrunchAtColmans FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Like Fear the Walking Dead…

Fargo | Installment 4: Crime Story Teaser | FX

A crime story is as American as apple pie. Fargo’s back with an all-new installment September 27th on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here