A Inventive, Compelling Time Loop Thriller With A Deep Emotional Core


  • Desert Highway is a great, mysterious, and character-driven time loop thriller with stunning twists.
  • Kristine Froseth delivers an distinctive efficiency, portraying Clare’s feelings with depth.
  • The movie’s nonlinear storytelling, seamless execution, and distinctive ending make it a strong and artistic debut.

Written and directed by Shannon Triplett, in her directorial function debut, Desert Highway is a posh story that’s dealt with with ease. There aren’t too many first-time administrators who would have the ability to sort out such a multilayered story, one involving nonlinear occasions wrapped in thriller, with such nuance and emotional depth. There are a variety of issues that might have gone unsuitable, however Triplett directs with confidence, bringing type, intrigue, and character depth to a narrative that may maintain you engaged and holding your breath in suspense for what comes subsequent.

A lady crashes her automobile and walks down the highway for assist – solely to seek out regardless of which means she walks she finally ends up again at her crashed automobile once more


  • Desert Highway is intelligent and suspenseful
  • Kristine Froseth offers a layered emotional efficiency
  • The twists within the movie are wonderful
  • Desert Highway is compelling and by no means grows uninteresting

Desert Highway Breathes New Life Into Basic Time Loop Story

A plethora of time journey films have been made that it’s turn into simple to discern what could come subsequent within the plot, and whereas Desert Highway has a few these moments, it’s a contemporary tackle a traditional trope that cleverly sews collectively items of the thriller for Clare (Kristine Froseth), who’s stranded within the desert after her automobile crashes right into a rock on the aspect of the highway that offers her a flat tire. Clare is creeped out by the gasoline station attendant (Max Mattern), who can’t appear to cease watching her.

Desert Highway is exactly what time loop thrillers needs to be — good, mysterious, character-driven, and suspenseful.

With the way in which its premise is ready up, most different movies would have rapidly run out of steam, particularly as Clare finds herself going by means of the repetitive motions of discovering assist and a means out of her scenario. However Triplett’s script by no means wanes, ramping up the strain or offering new data simply when it looks like Clare goes to be caught at one level for some time. Desert Highway has lower than a handful of characters for Clare to work together with, however each interplay gives a nugget of knowledge or creates some suspense to propel the story ahead.

Triplett neatly employs Clare’s digital camera at varied factors all through the movie, permitting the character her sources whereas additionally circling again to those moments to provide us a distinct angle that performs into the plot. As soon as Clare catches on to what’s occurring, Desert Highway doesn’t lag behind. In truth, the pacing grows extra pressing as Clare strikes away from time loop sufferer to time loop professional. This all occurs with out forgetting to deal with Clare’s private journey as a down-on-her-luck photographer who’s almost given up on her goals after a number of rejections of her work.

Desert Highway Is Elevated By Kristine Froseth’s Efficiency

Kristine Froseth lays on an orange flowery background with her hair spread out.

The Buccaneers star Kristine Froseth shines as Clare. The actress is on the middle of the story, and has the burden of carrying the movie on her personal for almost all of its runtime. Her efficiency — a combination of concern, paranoia, resolve, hope, and unhappiness — is outstanding and really makes us really feel the depth of Clare’s feelings at each flip. Because the character’s confusion and disbelief ship her into an emotional tailspin, the emotions Froseth exudes to convey Clare’s misery is palpable.

Froseth is reliably good in a job that requires her to painting a spread of issues as if she’s experiencing them chronologically. It’s a powerful, nuanced efficiency that’s bolstered by a script that permits time for Clare to evaluate and really feel earlier than shifting on. Desert Highway’s supporting solid — Mattern and Beau Bridges particularly — add to the unsettling nature of Clare’s time loop conundrum, and so they’re efficient in small, however memorable roles that assist to deliver gravitas to an intense scenario.

Desert Highway (2024)


Shannon Triplett

Launch Date

March 10, 2024


Shannon Triplett


Ryan Hurst
, Frances Fisher
, D.B. Woodside
, Kristine Froseth
, Beau Bridges
, Max Mattern
, Edwin Garcia II


90 Minutes

Triplett has a agency grasp of what the movie is, and the writer-director gives a few twists that make for a disconcerting, emotionally heightened expertise. The setting could not change all that a lot, however Desert Highway is exactly what time loop films needs to be — good, mysterious, character-driven, and suspenseful. The hints on the upcoming twists and turns are embedded into the story from the beginning, however after they’re revealed it’s nonetheless a considerably gasp-worthy shock that leaves us questioning all that we’ve witnessed up till that second.

The truth that Desert Highway works in its nonlinear timeline so seamlessly solely makes the storytelling all of the extra highly effective. By the final third, audiences might be rooting for Clare to kind by means of all she has found, resulting in a novel ending that leaves sure issues unanswered however offers its central character some closure. Triplett’s first function is intelligent, and its story dealt with with an assured hand. The creativity infused into the movie is felt all through, and its execution and pacing is so well-handled that you just’ll wish to instantly observe Triplett to see what she will give you subsequent.

Desert Highway premiered on the 2024 SXSW Movie & TV Competition.

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