Posted: October 18, 2014
Big Driver is based on one of King’s more horrible stories. Because of this I was a bit nervous when I read that it would be filmed for US TV where you can’t always show everything, especially stuff of a sexual nature.
The film is about the writer Tess Thorne who has made a name for herself with a series of books about a group of retired ladies who solve crimes. When the film begins, she’s just about to do a reading. So far all is well and everyone appreciates her effort and enjoys the reading but when she is about to leave she decides to take some (as it turns out bad) advice and take a different route home. One that is supposed to be shorter and go faster. Tess soon realizes that the new route is pretty bad and out in the middle of nowhere. That’s when she runs over some boards with nails in them and ends up with a flat tire. Help isn’t far away, however. A big man who, according to Tess, wears his truck more than rides in it, offers to help her but instead rapes her repeatedly, beats her and then leaves her in a sewer to die. Tess survives, barely, and the question now is what will she do...
It's pretty obvious what the movies unpleasant parts are but Lifetime (the TV channel that aired the movie) and Richard Christian Matheson (who wrote the script) shows no more than absolutely necessary in order to let the viewer understand how cruel the Big Driver is and by doing so it’s really no problem. We get the meaning but don’t have to sit through too much unpleasant nastiness.
Tess is played by Maria Bello and Olympia Dukakis plays one of her characters that she talks to when she’s under pressure. The balance between Tess being crazy and having a vivid imagination is perfect and we understand pretty well where Tess is in her state of mind. Will Harris plays Big Driver and in a small role we also see rocker Joan Jett. When it comes to adaptations of King stories there is often a lot going wrong but here they manage to keep it on the right track and most things are satisfying with Big Driver. Good acting, great script and great effects make this one one of the good adaptations.
Lilja's final words about Big Driver
Make sure you see this one. It’s, as I said, one of the good adaptations. I feel a bit sorry though for Will Harris. Why isn’t his name on the poster. He deserves that.