A Deadly Encounter (2004)

Laura Leighton in A Deadly Encounter (2004) (aka: Over the Edge)

Extreme Road Rage

I've lost track of the number of movies I have seen where an incident on the road leads to a person being stalked by an unseen person in another vehicle but "A Deadly Encounter" is the first I have seen which has been made for TV. And in fairness "A Deadly Encounter" which is also known as "Over the Edge" starts well enough with a dramatic set up but unfortunately after that it quickly goes down hill to the point of being too contrived and simply unbelievable.

Single mum Joanne Sanders (Laura Leighton - We'll Meet Again) finishes her late night job as front of house in a restaurant and sets off home. But on the way home she accidentally cuts up a driver in an SUV who takes things badly and tries to force her off the road. Unsettled enough when she gets home she then gets a series of ceepy silent phone calls and suffers a series of strange occurrences till it becomes clear that she is being stalked in a case of extreme road rage.

Daniel Magder in A Deadly Encounter (2004) (aka: Over the Edge)

So as already mentioned the set up to "A Deadly Encounter" is not bad, I am not on about the corny opening scene which sees Joanne's 13 year old son moaning about having to have a baby sitter but the actual road incident as it is reasonably dramatic. The trouble is that after that opening scene which culminates with late night silent phone calls things go down hill very quickly as Joanne becomes more on edge as various strange occurrences happen from mystery flat tyres to flowers and presents arriving at her home.

In truth it is only Joanne who feels on edge because sadly "A Deadly Encounter" fails to really create the right atmosphere and it becomes a procession of stalker activity which feels like it has come out of the stalker playbook. To make matters worse the level of the torment enters the point of being ridiculous from cars being tampered with to of course the big final scene where Joanne gets to confront her tormentor. That final scene is so wrong that nothing about it works, from a special effect involving a car blowing up to the actual reasoning used by her tormentor for trying to make her life a misery.

Unfortunately the narrative is not the only thing wrong with "A Deadly Encounter" and there are a lot of not just cliche characters but bad characters who have dialogue which no one in their right mind or even wrong mind would say. And because we don't get to see who the stalker is until towards the end that means that Laura Leighton as Joanne has to carry the movie on her shoulders which in fairness Leighton is watchable as she trots out some cliche elements of fear but is working with far too much cliche and poor dialogue to make her character feel believable.

What this all boils down to is that "A Deadly Encounter" starts well with a nice dramatic set up but then goes down hill quickly and never recovers. If you just want a movie to put on in the background whilst you do other things then it works but "A Deadly Encounter" is certainly not a movie which you need to focus upon.