This movie is is polarizing, and the following sentences are going to weed a lot of you out of its potential audience. And you know what? I can only believe that that’s how director Rob Savage wants it.
Annie Hardy plays Annie Hardy, apparently only a slight exaggeration of her already outsized personality. In real life, she’s a talking head on Twitter, prone to those distasteful opinions that we all say are ‘ruining Twitter’ when actually it’s those kind of tweets that make Twitter, stirring up controversy and muck. In the film, she raps them. The character Annie Hardy live streams a Youtube show called BandCar, the internet’s #1 live improvised music show broadcast from a moving vehicle (according to Annie Hardy). Pro-Trump and anti-vax, she sing/raps the most heinous stuff, and her character was so offensive and unpleasant I nearly tuned out before we got to any actual horror. Well, to be fair, since it takes place during the pandemic, the horror was already there. And anti-vaxxers during a pandemic are already pretty villainous. At any rate: MAGA-hat wearing, lockdown-breaking Annie Hardy leaves Los Angeles for London, where she shows up unannounced at her bandmate’s (Amar Chadha-Patel) home where she sows tension between him and his partner, and then steals his car.
Steals his car and attempts to fuck up his Uber Eats side gig at the same time, collecting orders only to eat them herself. Along the way she somehow also collects an old woman named Angela (Angela Enahoro) that needs some delivering, and therein starts the secondary horror. Angela is not just the elderly, inebriated passenger she first appears to be.
Dashcam is about an aggressively annoying woman who refuses to stop vlogging even whilst the world appears to be ending and a demon has it out for her in a big, bad way. Annie is such a repulsive character you’ll root against her, not hoping she’ll survive, but hoping she’ll meet a suitably gruesome end. She may spit some unpalatable crap, but she’s clearly quick, and talented, I’ll give her that. Savage leans on the schtick a little heavily, and throws her GoPro around too heartily; paring down either of those things, and preferably both, heavily, would have made a more watchable movie. Because Savage is really on to something here. There was something terrifyingly random about not being able to pin Angela down, not to even be sure whether she’s victim or perpetrator here. It’s thrilling and chilling and kept me gasping.
However, with zero empathy and even fewer redeeming qualities, Annie is simply too dislikeable, even for a movie that’s less than 80 minutes. Usually she’d be set up in order to die first, but Savage insists on making the film revolve around her, letting the very worst person live the longest, which is a pretty mean-spirited message to put out into the universe. The best part about this film is never having to see it again.
Dashcam was a 2021 TIFF official selection in its infamous Midnight Madness section.