Flash Movie Review: The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
Posted by moviejoltz
BACK IN SCHOOL WE TALKED ABOUT hitchhiking our way to the coast. Since we lived in the Midwest, it would require a lot of hitchhiking to get to the Pacific Ocean. We would sit and conjure up scenarios about the kinds of food and clothing we would need for the trip, including a discussion on what would be the best type of shoe or boot to wear. It all sounded like a solid plan, but never left the talking stage. I loved traveling by almost any means, whether it was by car, train, bus or plane. Each mode of transportation provided me the opportunity to see the country from a different vantage point. One trip by train showed me a mountainous landscape where the icicles were as sharp as daggers. A trip by helicopter was magical because as we rose towards the top of the volcano, we passed through multiple rainbows due to the moisture hanging in the air. When I think back about our idea of hitchhiking, I believe there was a part of me that was hesitant about sitting with a stranger, feeling forced to carry on a conversation. Sometimes, I do not have an issue talking to a fellow passenger on a plane or train; but other times, I just want to chill out with my own thoughts. There have been times where I purposely have kept a magazine open on my lap, hoping the person next to me backs off from attempting to make small talk. THE OTHER THING THAT HELD ME back from moving forward with our plans was the fact that I had already seen enough movies where the innocent character was picked up by a stranger and killed at some point. Or the other scenario would involve being dropped off at the side of a road in the middle of nowhere. I do not mind hiking a few miles but not hours and hours without finding water or food. When I was a kid, I do not recall hearing any negative news about hitchhiking. To tell you the truth, I cannot remember even hearing or seeing hitchhikers; maybe it was not a thing back then. However, at some point when I completed my schooling, I recall becoming aware of hitchhikers; maybe because instead of being on a campus I was traveling now down into the city, seeing more of the landscape. As I am writing this review, I am trying to remember when the last time was, I recently saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road. And you know something; I cannot recall when the last time was, I saw someone hitchhiking. After seeing this unreal documentary, why would anyone want to hitchhike? WHEN A LONE HITCHHIKER GETS CAUGHT on video saving a woman’s life, he becomes an instant viral sensation. Not to soon after, he becomes a different type of sensation, a sinister one. Written and directed by Colette Camden (The Rise of the Anti-Vaxx Movement, America on a Plate: The Story of the Diner) this crime story about Kai Lawrence, the hitchhiker, was unbelievable. I was fascinated watching the trajectory of his quick fame as everyone was jumping on the bandwagon, to shower Kai with praise and gifts. The story came about with the help of KMPH news anchor Jessob Reisbeck and cameraperson, Terry Woods. Not being someone who does much online, I was fascinated at the quickness and intensity in Kai’s fame. What stayed as an unknown to me in this movie was the fact that there was never any discussion about Kai’s circumstances. Was there a mental health issue or childhood trauma that led him to the path he was on? I felt there could have been more investigative work into the back story. The story in this documentary will grab the viewer; but, I do not know if it will keep hold of their attention for the duration.
2 ½ stars
About moviejoltzFrom a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.
Posted on February 21, 2023, in Documentary and tagged 2 1/2 stars, colette camden, crime, documentary, hitchhiker, jessob reisbeck, jimmy kimmel, kai lawrence, terry woods, viral. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
I thought this was a compelling documentary – up to a point. The twists and turns in the story held my attention and I also thought it was an effective parable about the inherent dangers in making judgments based on just the superficial information gleaned from viral internet media – although I am someone who never has a clue what is currently popular on the internet. Where I thought the documentary was lacking was in its apparent lack of interest in what drove this young man to where he ended up. There was no real analysis of the situations and circumstances that contributed to the events narrated in the film. It felt like it was, therefore, actually repeating the very mistake it was warning against and making its own superficial evaluation.
Agree Laura; there was not talk about mental health, family life, upbringing; just a look at the present. Thank you for your take on this documentary.