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Michael A. Martinez
I feel a bit sorry to say that this isn't a great film and sadly suffers from a lack of originality, because I really did enjoy my viewing of "Reeker" and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to other hardcore horror fans on the lookout for new thrills! "Reeker" is a fun film, with decent production values and lots of exhilarating gore, and it's only near the end that the script begins to show some major holes and plot twists that featured in many other movies already. Up until when the story becomes painfully predictable, Dave Payne manages to build up some genuine suspense, likable character-drawings and even some vivid black humor. Five twenty-something people who only know each other vaguely are on their way to a famous rave in the desert when their journey suddenly takes a nightmarish turn. After a truly banal drug-incident, the gang returns to the nearest motel, only to find that everyone has mysteriously vanished there. The only living soul for miles around is a middle-aged traveler who has severe problems himself, as he somehow lost his wife on the isolated desert roads. Things get really uncanny when a terrifying figure, bizarrely dressed and smelling horribly, shows up killing the cast members in it has to be said very imaginative ways! You certainly won't be complaining about a shortage of excitement, as the film doesn't cut back on grotesque make-up effects or over-the-top gory moments. After the first glimpse at the unusual killer and the ominous atmosphere, it becomes clear that "Reeker" is slightly more ambitious than your average high-school slasher. Such an ambition is definitely praiseworthy and promising for Payne's future career, but sadly his "idea" has been used already in many other (classic as well as more recent) movies before. Of course, I can't mention which ones because that would have the same effect as revealing the actual twist. Michael Ironside is the terrific experienced actor of the film, but he receives excellent feedback from the enthusiast young cast. Derek Richardson (who was in "Hostel") is very good and Gillmore Girl Arielle Kebbel is more than adequate as well. "Reeker" guarantees a fine watch all together, but it's a little shortcoming to end up a genre classic.
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