Road Games (1981)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Jun 26, 1981 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - Australia  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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This Hitchcock-influenced thriller has aged quite well thanks to its smart, low-key approach, and remains effective today because it never panders to the viewer. Everett de Roche's clever script replaces the usual sex and violence this kind of scenario might offer with a sly blend of wit and slow-burning suspense. Just as important is the fact that he populates the story's landscape with a variety of unique characters that add plenty of flavor to the story. Said characterizations are further enriched by nice work from the cast, especially Marion Edward as a particularly obnoxious hausfrau and Jamie Lee Curtis' beguiling turn as the witty, mysterious hitchhiker. The film, however, truly belongs to Stacy Keach, who tackles the role of Quid with great energy and charismatic verve, making this memorably offbeat hero one for the record books. Finally, director Richard Franklin assembles all these elements with great precision and creates a number of beautifully crafted set pieces along the way, the most memorable of which are a foot chase that has a totally unexpected ending and a finale that features one of the most unusual car chases ever filmed. All in all, Road Games is a tight little thriller that's well worth a look for any suspense fan in search of something that delivers the goods in an unexpected way.