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I went to one of those secret test screenings they do here a lot in Los
Angeles. I knew this was a horror, am a big fan, but had never heard
of it. We were urged not to talk about the story until it opened,
especially the surprise ending. If their so worried about the big
twist, then don't screen it!
The movie opens on a family traveling in a minivan demolishing a deer on the road. Then they encounter a mysterious noxious gas that maims their dog and nearly decapitates the father. The first 3 minutes is totally sick and whack.
Then these college kids, strangers, share a ride through the desert. I especially liked the blind guy and the music obsessed geek. When their truck breaks down and they get trapped at a motel, the movie really takes off. It veers into weird, funny, scary, strange to totally messed up. A psycho ecstasy dealer (who I recognize from "Resident Evil") is after them -- or isn't he? There are sightings of mutilated dying people -- including a hilarious and gory appearance of a "half a trucker." An old man shows up in a RV looking for his missing wife. And I don't even really need to say it, but, someone or something is killing them off one by one...
It's the mystery that really makes this light years better than most horror films I've seen recently. Unlike THE GRUDGE, this one makes sense. I'll admit, I'm still trying to sort out all the little details of what really happened. I worked my way back through the movie all night and it's even better in the morning. Not all the special effects were finished and the sound wasn't done either, so I can only imagine Reeker will get even better. Two mangled thumbs up!
I went to see the movie knowing it was a low budget movie and probably
more of the same to boot, thinking it'd be bad goreish effects and
ready to be bored. Actually committed to hate the movie.
But something happened. The movie's twisted sense of humor, as you can experience in the first minutes, gets you into watching the movie just to see what silly thing happens next, along with its jumpy moments, and typical bad guys and the so predictable deaths everyone knows (the proverbial closed door leading to a dark room that everyone seems to step into... or not:); but hey, it's still lightweight fun! Then the movie's final twist is revealed and all the silly things make sense, shifting the what you thought it was bland predictable stuff into something else you didn't really notice because you were having fun poking at the holes of the movie and its apparently predictable stuff.
The movie ends, people in the theater have stopped laughing and are silent in amazement, and my friend slowly says this weekend he's not going to the desert... just in case.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm confused because this is one of the worst films I've ever seen, and
yet some people seem to like it. The characters, the dialogue ('Didn't
you just go to the bathroom already?' 'Tell that to my bladder') and
the acting was awful, and... actually that's enough. Take that away
from any film and you have a bunch of set pieces which either work or
they don't, but it's not a film in any kind of enjoyable sense.
The pre-credits part at the beginning was great and I was actually set up to enjoy a great film - only it sucked. I quickly realised that I was watching five of the most shallow, dumb-schmuck, downright stoopidest high school folk ever committed to celluloid, and after ten minutes my reaction was 'Jeez, make them die already'. Harsh but true. They weren't even clichés, they were cardboard cut-outs from a How Not To Write A Move book. For a group of young kids thrown together in the midst of an ordeal watch My Little Eye.
The inclusion of a blind guy could have been interesting if it hadn't been handled so badly. The first mention of it - 'Thanks for rubbing it in' - was a bit ridiculous; he's been blind since the age of 6, hasn't he got over it yet? He can't still be bitter about it! And when a trucker meets him he is confused by why he doesn't shake his hand: 'He's blind.' 'Oh.' As if the blind guy (his name's Jack, but his role in the film is essentially Blind Guy) would stay silent and not hold out his hand to be shook when introduced to someone.
In the scene where Blind Guy enters a room and there's a woman with no face scratching a message into a table, he doesn't see her. Because he's blind, you see. But as he keeps mentioning how his hearing compensates for his sight, would he not have heard her moving around? This, coupled with him later saying he was blind since age *7* (apparently a continuity flub), made me think that he was in on the horror side of things. The number of plot holes, blind alleys and red herrings is enough to keep people guessing about what's going on (and not in a good way) and the ending doesn't help either. You can't just montage a bunch of new stuff that makes no sense and have the two surviving characters say 'Do you remember anything about the crash?' 'No. Do you?' 'No.' It's the equivalent of a 7 year old writing a poem and ending it with, 'And then I woke up. It was all a dream'. Blech.
The whole 'Group Stuck In A Horror Motel' thing was done infinitely better in some film I don't remember the name of from 2002/2003. It's ironic that I should forget its name, as the name Reeker will be etched in my memory for a long while yet, and not in a good way.
But hey, you kids have fun!
First off WOW . Sometimes you get unexpectedly, great movies when you least expect. I go thru my on-demand on all my premium cable channels which is included in my subscription and stumbled on this. I tend to be drawn to movies with teens or 20 somethings finding HORROR in off beat, backwards places, but I digress. This movie surprised me in a great way. Sure there was the typical horror stuff which I come to love in every horror movie good and bad but than the twist , oh the wonderful , fantastic twist . Totally out of left-field. I thought the acting was better than a lot of these genre of movies . The cinematography was lacking but that was OK. I guess I should have sensed something unexpected because , with each death or near death something strange happens.I wont tell what it is. See this movie and another like it BLACKWOODS.
I saw this at the Johannesburg premiere last night, and the whole
cinema seemed to love it.
There were some quality funny moments and a lot of jumps, my only criticism being that it lacked suspense, with some scenes being just a few seconds too long. But I never got bored, as my mind was busy trying to make sense of the plot and predict the "twist" I'd heard all about.
When the twist came, it suddenly made the whole movie so much more freaky. I'm normally good at predicting the end of movies but this one totally got me. Anyone who says the ending is unoriginal obviously didn't "get" the full extent of the twist. I have to go and see this again!
I have just got back from watching Reeker and i have to say, i really
Yeah, so it follows the same basic plot outline as millions of films before it but hey, its a proved plot outline, it works.. The film revolves around a group of youngsters who are traveling to a 'rave' that is taking place in the desert. Whilst on their journey they encounter a few problems relating to death and horror, that is the basic plot. This film has a nice ending that is well explained, it is very easy to watch and i really do recommend that you go see it.......NOW...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I regard Reeker as being a great horror movie - one of the best
examples of the genre that I've seen in the current decade, though I've
noticed that quite a few people seem to have problems understanding the
Here's my interpretation of the movie: the central premise of the film seems to be that sometimes people are killed in accidents that are so sudden that they don't actually realise what's happened. In these cases, the victims find themselves in a limbo between life and death - a world that looks identical to ours, with the exception that nobody else is there, and also time works differently (no matter how long you spend in this limbo, only a few seconds pass in the real world).
This is what happens to the main characters in the film. The moment occurs when they stop at the side of the road to let Trip out, and Cookie takes the opportunity to dash behind the bushes. Everyone feels what they assume to be an earth tremor. In fact, this is when Henry (Michael Ironside) had a heart attack while driving his RV, and plowed into them.
Once they've arrived in limbo, the Reeker hunts down the individuals who didn't survive the accident, killing them in ways similar to how they actually died in the real world (eg: Nelson getting a shard of glass in his throat after crashing through a window, Cookie receiving internal injuries while going to the toilet). As they now realise they're dead, this allows the victims' souls to pass on, going to the afterlife/heaven/hell/whatever.
Jack (the blind guy) and Gretchen survived the crash, and therefore the Reeker wasn't able to kill them.
As for the glimpses of 'the dying people', these are the victims of the other accidents mentioned by the policeman at the end of the movie - including the family we see in the pre-title sequence. They've already been killed by the Reeker, and are in the process of moving on to the afterlife. In the same way - because the limbo is half-way between the land of the living and the realm of the dead - we also occasionally see visions of Radford (the drug dealer) as he tries to save the lives of the crash victims, back in the real world.
The writing in the Bible and on the walls was presumably made by somebody (or several somebodies, over a long period of time) who had previously been trapped in the limbo, and realised that something was after them. Eventually the Reeker must have gotten them.
Gretchen seems to briefly retain some memories of what happened in limbo (She murmurs "Why didn't you try to help us?" to Radford as he pulls her out of the wreckage), and Jack also remarks that he can dimly remember being able to see Gretchen for a moment, but the final scene indicates that they have forgotten about the Reeker and the Half-Way Motel.
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.
Nothing about a film called "Reeker" says it's going to be anything but stupid, yet I was quite impressed by the outcome. Director Dave Payne (Adams Family Reunion... Really?) paints his picture with bold colors and an emphasis on red... "Reeker" entertains in a way that very few Indie horror films do... By setting up and knocking down all the horror film clichés' with great promise of things to come. The premise is simple, a group of people are stranded at a seedy hotel in the middle of the desert, when a rather stinky foe reeks havoc upon them. Other then the "Stinky" factor, it sounds pretty similar to a thousand other films, but Payne shows us something new and quite refreshing. The setting, along with superb cinematography sells the isolation feeling to great effect, and the stellar cast brings the whole story to life in a seemingly effortless fashion. I was most impressed with the villain (Reeker), who was a stinky breath of fresh air when it comes to over-done horror film slashers, and proved to be something different and creepy. Yes, you will love the whole "Cookie in the outhouse" scene, and the way the film opens is something you won't soon forget. "Reeker" will make you proud to be a horror fan, as it does not alienate it's audience, but instead invites you on a joy ride to horrific bliss... You will not be let down.
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