Paul Harris (Alex Karpovsky) works at a research facility in Boston and at the outset meets new employee Danielle (Jaime Ray Newman) at a work's party. They strike up a conversation and end up spending the weekend together. The first night is all passionate sex but the second night ends somewhat awkwardly with Danielle being very distant. Moving on eight months, Paul still has feelings for Danielle but she rarely acknowledges him. When Danielle begins to show interest in a new colleague, Chris Burke (Dennis Staroselsky) that has joined the research facility, Paul's jealousy reaches boiling point and he starts to lose control.
While harbouring feelings for Danielle, Paul tries to live his life, spending time with his sister Linda (Amanda Good Hennessey) and paying for the company of Kathy (Dakota Shepard). It isn't enough though. A dark chapter from Paul's past continues to haunt him and all he can think of is Danielle. Any efforts to converse with her are always somewhat frosty and the warmth she shows towards Chris only serves to incite Paul who remains uncertain of why Danielle went from sleeping with him one night to giving him the cold shoulder the next. As the days go by Paul becomes more desperate and unhinged, putting the lives of those around him in danger.
Rubberneck doesn't have an original idea but it is one that can be engaging if done right. The big issues with this film is the character of Paul. You will get the impression that he is dangerous and obsessive. This may turn out to be accurate in the end but for most of the film he seems a little odd but harmless and dare I say you may sympathise with him, while feeling less than complimentary towards Danielle whose change of attitude towards Paul is never really explained. Her willingness to become close to new colleague Chris, who is married and she knows it, also doesn't portray her character especially well. The film does take a dark turn suddenly but perhaps too dark. It could have been done very differently and been more shocking and enthralling.
Rubberneck has some good moments but Paul doesn't initially convince as a man who would hurt anyone and if anything it is Danielle that is more unlikable for most of the film. The horrifying turn the film takes seems to drain it of any real drama and some of the characters' motives and reactions are just not realistic given the severity of some of the events. This could have been so much better.