While the road thriller is nothing new to the horror genre, one must admit that there are only few driven by female protagonists. Of course, with high-speed chases, hot-running motors and testosterone-fueled stunt work, that side of the horror genre has been primarily targeted at male audiences for decades now.
But with Michael Bafaro’s upcoming road thriller, WRECKER, the genre is looking to take a left turn into more diverse and intense territory, putting Drea Whitburn (SUPERNATURAL) and Anna Hutchison (THE CABIN IN THE WOODS) behind the wheel as they face a torturous trucker. With the film currently premiering in Cannes, FANGORIA had the chance to debut a new still from the film (which you can see below) as well as catch up with Hutchison regarding her high-speed return to horror…
FANGORIA: How did you first come aboard WRECKER?
ANNA HUTCHISON: I was asked by my manager if I wanted to read the script, and I loved it right from the start. I really liked the idea of a female driving film that turns where they have to be really driven and have to find strength. WRECKER is a really female-driven movie and that’s something that really appealed to be right from the beginning, so once I knew that, I was on board.
FANGORIA: There’s been a lot of roadbound thrillers in the past that are beloved in the genre: DUEL, JOY RIDE, ROADGAMES, etc. What was it about WRECKER that really made the project stand out to you as an actress?
HUTCHISON: I think it was the idea that the females are in the driver’s seat. I watched DUEL and it was really cool, but it’s predominantly men who are in these movies. I saw one recently that starred Tom Hardy [LOCKE] where it’s just him and the whole film evolves while he drives this car, and to watch him do that was so incredible and really captivating. So with WRECKER, I was absolutely intrigued to do that type of film with another female actress.
I also really like the thriller aspect of WRECKER, because I read the script and there were parts where I thought they got away but they were still trapped in that mental game that this wicked truck is playing. One of the things that Michael Bafaro, the director, said to me- and this is a more psychological take on it- is that the dynamic is like an abusive relationship. You want to end this thing but you can’t get out; you’re trying to get out and every time you think you’ve gotten out, you’re drawn back into it. That was another take on the film and one that I really liked in terms of point of view.
FANGORIA: Since both of the leads in WRECKER are women, what kind of opportunities did WRECKER offer that you might not have gotten playing a supporting role or love interest in an archetypal road movie?
HUTCHISON: As a lead in WRECKER, I had more of my own storyline and more involvement as a female as opposed to supporting a storyline of a lead actor and supporting whatever challenges he is facing. It’s really, really incredible and challenging to have a female go through those same problems herself where she would have to find strength that she didn’t know she had before. It was really great to take that on, particularly since I learned so much in playing this role.
WRECKER was a low budget shoot, and everyone who was involved absolutely believed in the film so they gave it everything they had. This goes double for all of the driving and stunt shooting, since emotions are running high as it was such a small crew and everyone knew each other. There wasn’t even enough time to mess around either; we had to be on the money and absolutely hitting every emotion every single time. Normally, when you’re in a supporting role, you are there to help whatever it is your lead needs to do, so to do that was really gratifying especially since I had the moral support of everybody involved.