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I saw two midnight movies at the Tribeca Film Festival, "Reeker," the first, and by far the best, was a welcome surprise in a world of tired horror retreads. What we have here is something that is not so much new (the story is in the great tradition of "kids stuck in the middle of nowhere") as done right to such an extent that it elevated the material beyond my wildest expectations. Not only was I totally sucked into the mystery, but I was caught up in the plights of the characters (all superbly fleshed out), AND scared out of my seat. In addition to jumping and almost making a pass at the dude next to me (don't ask), I laughed so hard on at least half a dozen occasions that I missed entire scenes... This movie is FUN.
Kids get stuck, something's not right, a rank odor follows them around... they start getting killed. You'll never forget the blond in the outhouse.
The production is compact filmed mostly at one desert gas station/motel with some scenes on the road and in Los Angeles. The music is spot on. If you're a music lover, the smart placement of several songs is well worth the price of admission. The gore fx and computer fx are great, especially for an independent movie. The whole affair has a very "classic horror movie" feel.
There is a twist end. These types of endings only bother me when they don't work. In this case, this is one of the reasons this movie is so clever. With the reveal you learn that all the mayhem you've just witnessed actually was working on many levels. It's a puzzle that may leave some scratching their heads. My advice PAY ATTENTION!
"Reeker" avoids the standard run of the mill slasher pitfalls, creates a new monster/killer that's so original it's almost not (You wonder why no ones thought of this villain before). If you don't take your horror too seriously, want a change of pace from your J-horror fetish, get in line and catch "Reeker" the day it opens.
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