Film Review: The Passenger

There’s nothing quite like a road movie to bring people together, or tear them apart. Placing several different characters within the confines of a vehicle and forcing them to try and get along. The claustrophobia of being cooped up together as they head for a shared destination. All with their own individual worries and concerns, but needing to pull together to reach your goal. This is at the heart of The Passenger (La pasajera).

The middle-class Lidia (Cristina Alcázar) and her rebellious teenage daughter Marta (Paula Gallego) are travelling across a remote area of Spain to a village. As is Mariela (Cecilia Suárez), a devout Catholic in search of a miracle. And they may all need one given their rideshare driver is an unreformed former bullfighter, Blasco (Ramiro Blas), with his ancient van Nessa. A bump in the night put their journeys on hold.

The Passenger is an impressive body horror which uses great effects and pacing to create a compelling and tense genre chiller. Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez’s film works so well thanks to a central relationship and some really clever writing. Bolstered by believable acting performances and effective direction. However, it’s Nessa who is the undoubted star of The Passenger. She’s the stage for much of the action and is full of surprises.

The Passenger is out in US cinemas on 3 June and On Demand/DVD on 28 June.  

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