Dashcam Ruins Its Great Horror With a Terrible Protagonist

I’ve been wanting to see Dashcam for a while. Like just about everyone else, I absolutely loved Host, so when I heard that director Rob Savage was going to follow it up with another found footage horror film, I couldn’t wait to check it out. I anxiously awaited the day when I’d finally get the chance to see it, and I was confident that it would be one of the best genre movies of the year.

Directed by Rob Savage, Dashcam stars Annie Hardy, Angela Enahoro, and Amer Chadha-Patel. It’s about a woman named Annie who uses her dashcam to livestream an improv music show from her car, and one day, she travels from America to the UK to escape the COVID-19 restrictions in her home country. While there, she continues to livestream, and she meets up with a former bandmate of hers named Stretch. Soon afterwards, she agrees to help out a woman named Angela and drive her to safety, but things soon take a turn for the worse as Annie and Stretch realize that something is very, very wrong with Angela.

Like I said, I was super excited to finally get the chance to watch Dashcam, and I’m sad to say that I was very disappointed. While there’s actually a lot to like about this film, it has one fatal flaw that ruined the entire experience for me: the character of Annie. She’s one of the most unlikable protagonists in recent memory, so no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t care what happened to her.

See, Annie is a hardcore, right-wing MAGA fanatic, and she makes sure everybody around her knows it. She’s constantly talking about her political views, so she becomes very annoying very quickly. To be fair, I actually didn’t mind her too much at first. I knew right off the bat that I wasn’t going to love her, but I thought I’d be able to at least tolerate her.

A woman seen through a wet windshield

But I was wrong. She’s so overzealous that she comes across as more of a caricature than anything else, so after about 25 minutes or so, I just couldn’t take her seriously anymore. Sure, I know there are some people who are actually like that, but they’re very few and far between, and I don’t know any of them. Even the most hardcore Trump and MAGA supporters I know seem like moderates compared to her, so it was tough for me to view her as a real person in genuine danger.

Admittedly, Annie is just one character, but she’s so unlikable that she also killed any interest I might’ve had in any of the other characters in Dashcam. Because I was completely uninterested in her, I became so uninterested in her entire story that I simply couldn’t care about anybody else in it. I didn’t have any problems with Stretch or Angela, but Annie is the clear star of the show here, so they have absolutely no chance of escaping the negative shadow she casts over the entire film.

Moving on to the horror, this is both the best and the most disappointing thing about Dashcam. Let’s start with the positives. Looking at it in isolation, this is hands down the movie’s one saving grace. Just like Host, this film also features a whole bunch of really inventive and well-executed scares, and I’d even go so far as to say that they were almost enough to outweigh my dislike of Annie.

Almost, but not quite. I still didn’t like the film overall, but despite that, I’m actually really excited to see what Rob Savage does next. This movie shows pretty decisively that Host wasn’t a fluke, so as long as Savage stays away from over-the-top, caricaturistic protagonists like Annie, his future in the horror genre looks pretty bright.

A woman sitting in the back seat of a car

Nevertheless, I also have to say that the great horror in Dashcam fell pretty flat for me. Like I said, it wasn’t quite good enough to outweigh my dislike of Annie, so my feelings towards her killed my enjoyment of the scares too. I’ve said this in numerous reviews before, and I’m sure I’ll say it in many reviews to come as well: scares are only as good as the characters involved. If you care about the characters, your fear for them will make you scared with them too, but if you don’t care about them, your apathy towards them will translate into apathy towards the scares as well.

And that’s exactly what happened to me with this film. Because I couldn’t care about these characters, the scares simply didn’t affect me in any sort of emotional way. I didn’t care what was happening to these people, so as great as the horror was objectively, it just didn’t hit me on a subjective level. It felt more like visual noise than anything else, and that’s what was so disappointing about it. I could tell that it was great, but it didn’t do anything for me. I wasn’t able to enjoy seeing something I love so much done so well, and that’s never a fun experience.

So at the end of the day, I’m very sad to say that I can’t recommend Dashcam. While the horror in this movie is pretty great, Annie is so unlikable that she outweighs everything the film does right. She ruins the scares as well as the other characters in the story, so if you’re looking for some good new horror to watch, I’d suggest that you look elsewhere.

Dashcam is available in theaters and on VOD right now.


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  1. This is very spot on. She experiences all this life changing horror and mind blowing revelations that life is not as black and white as she thought it was and yet after all that trauma her character seems to be exactly the same as in the beginning. No growth. No change. Just “man, what rough day!”.

  2. This review is just so spot on! I’m an AVID horror fan and quite like found footage as well. Further, while I don’t belong with the MAGA collective I was a conservative most of my life and thought I could handle any ultra far right conspiracy crap. I was VERY wrong. It was just terrible as a whole despite some great pieces. Annie’s friend was well acted and had a great screen presence. I was hopeful he could salvage the dumpster-fire that was our “protagonist” but he’s just one man.

    In the end, Savage was asking far too much from the audience and not enough of Annie Hardy or himself.

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Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong horror fan. From a very early age, he learned to love monsters, ghosts, and all things spooky, and it's still his favorite genre today.

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