Bad Samaritan is a horror-thriller film that released in 2018. It stars Robert Sheehan as Sean, a restaurant valet/aspiring photographer by day and house burglar by night. Along with his friend Derek, they secretly use the cars entrusted to them by customers to burglarize their homes. However, Sean finds more than he bargained for when he breaks into the house of wealthy patron Cale Ehrenreich (David Tennant) and discovers a woman named Katie being held captive.
Upon witnessing Katie strapped to a chair, Sean panics. He attempts to free her but decides to leave when Cale returns to Derek to retrieve his car. Unbeknownst to them, Cale has a sophisticated security system including motion detectors and cameras. Sean returns just in time to deliver the vehicle to Cale who quickly drives away. Sean explains the horrific scenario to Derek before deciding to inform the police. The authorities arrive at the house but they find absolutely nothing.
Sean is devastated, he decides to take the case to the FBI. Meanwhile, Cale brings Katie to a secluded cabin. He becomes aware of Sean’s knowledge of her abduction. Motivated by a desire to break people down, Cale begins working to destroy Sean’s life. He starts by having Sean, Derek, and Sean’s parents fired from their jobs. Also, he savagely beats Riley, Sean’s girlfriend, after hacking into his Facebook and camera to ruin their relationship by leaking a topless photo of her. Cale then murders Derek and his family in their home and stages their deaths as a murder-suicide.
Using the GPS in Cale’s car, Sean is able to find the cabin where Katie is being held captive and heads off to save her after surviving Cale’s attempt to kill him with a bomb. At the same time, the FBI are gaining ground. Will Sean be able to stop Cale and save Katie before it’s too late?
As far as horror-thriller movies go, Bad Samaritan is a decent one. Without a doubt and predictably, David Tennant is the best part of this film. The man is amazing at playing the hero but even better at being a detestable villain. I thought him and Robert Sheehan worked really well off of each other. Both give quality performances, regardless of their characters shortcomings.
While Bad Samaritan doesn’t exactly innovate, I cannot deny that I felt invested throughout. Sean makes his life much more difficult than he probably should have. Still, after making the mistake of leaving Katie he does absolutely everything that anyone would do in such a scenario. It’s really refreshing to see him go down every avenue in an attempt to fix it all. However, with this comes some overused tropes. The police don’t believe him and are easily fooled etc. Also, you have to suspend disbelief a few times. Cale moves around, completing certain tasks so quickly it’s almost superhuman.
Talking of Cale, he is an interesting antagonist. His background is barely explored but it’s enough to give you an understanding of his psychosis. He’s an extremely unstable individual that is capable of great violence and anger at the drop of a hat. Instead of merely murdering his victims, he likes to break them mentally. There is a chilling intensity to Tennant’s performance. However, I cannot say I was a fan of his American accent. In fact, it gets downright cringe worthy at times. While Tennant does his best, Cale comes across as more pathetic than menacing.
Finally, Bad Samaritan has a rather odd musical score. It just doesn’t suit the seriousness and dark tones of the film. It makes certain scenes feel almost cartoonish in nature.
Overall, Bad Samaritan is a fun horror-thriller. It may not be ground-breaking but it adds enough new elements to the genre that I consider it unique. Ultimately, its tale is quite straightforward but it didn’t need to be much else. I would have liked for it to have gone much further in terms of horror and scares. In the end, it plays it a bit too safe.