Review Date: July 29, 2001
Director: Victor Salva
Writer: Victor Salva
Producers: Tom Lusse and Barry Opper
Justin Long as Darry
Gina Phillips as Trish
Eileen Brennan as Jezelle
I mean, here are a couple of good ol' American kids driving through the heartland and witnessing a creepy-looking man shoving, what appears to be, dead human bodies down a drainpipe. Scary shit, right? Well, this film does an excellent job of building up all of that tension early on and keeping the "bad guy" hidden for the first half of the movie. You wonder what is going on, you root for the two kids because you appreciate what they might be going through. Credit director Salva for creating that extra-special strain in the film with some interesting directing choices and an excellent score for even more creeps. It's too bad that the second half of the film just doesn't pan out as well as you might hope. I tend to lose interest in lead characters whenever they start doing stupidities in horror flicks, like standing around watching when they should be turning around and running! But there were also a couple of small plot holes that bothered me here as well, like why the "bad guy" felt the need to play songs when whacking out his victims (or making correlations to them) or why he had a namesake license plate? I mean...did I miss something here?
But overall, the film was definitely a nice change of pace from all of the teen slasher garbage that we've been getting of late, and I certainly appreciated its "old school" mentality (no MTV soundtrack in sight!). So I would still recommend that you check this movie out, just to see what will hopefully be the continuation of more creepy, tension-filled horror movies (SESSION 9, THE OTHERS, GINGER SNAPS). Oh yeah, and the final shot of this film is one that I will remember forever. Brrrrrrrr...thank you Salva, for not going "Hollywood" on us in the very end.