11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A DIFFERENT TYPE OF HORROR MOVIE,
This review is from: Reeker (DVD)
Stop me if you've heard this one before...a group of college kids are out on a road trip, traveling down a stretch of desert highway when their car breaks down and strands them. They then find themselves hunted down by a maniacal killer. Sounds like the plot of about hundred horror films except Reeker takes this tired plot and twists it into something surprisingly fresh and original. First, the leader of the group is a strong female lead, Gretchen (Tina Illman). Second, there are no gratuitous sex scenes or nudity in Reeker. The female characters Gretchen and Cookie are attractive but their not your typical horror movie dumb blondes. Even the male roles are nonconforming...the men aren't brawny jocks but regular guys who are just as terrified as the women are. One of them, Jack (Devon Gummersall) is even blind and has to rely on Gretchen to lead him about.
The five get stranded at a roadside diner/motel with not another person in site. The phones are dead and they can get only static on the radios. You start to wonder if this is some sort of an extraterrestrial phenomena. Reeker holds its cards extremely tight! The first hint of a threat is the smell of death that comes in waves of nauseous vapors that end in a character being shredded by a whirling blade. Finally an RV pulls into the diner. Henry (Michael Ironside) is looking for his wife who has been missing since morning. Henry seems to know more than he is letting on, however and the rest of the group are happy to let him stay locked in his RV. Reeker is a film that leads you in one direction, making you think you know exactly what is going on, and then pulls the rug out from under you and says, "Got Ya!" Without providing any spoilers, it's a film where you really need to pay attention to all the little details that you thought were not important. The hints are there if you look for them.
While the cast members are not household names (except perhaps for the fine character actor, Ironside) they are an experienced group with a lot of acting credits. Eric Mabius was in the first Resident Evil film and since has had numerous TV credits, most recently a recurring role in Ugly Betty. Gummersall as Jack presents a unique horror film male lead, a blind man who provides a calming influence on the rest of the terrified group.
It's not a terribly gory film but it uses the gore effectively, more for shock than for the sake of it. These scenes are meant to unsettle the viewer as opposed to merely spilling buckets of blood. In one part, Nelson finds a man yelling for help from inside a trash dumpster. He helps the old man out only to find that the man's body as seen severed at the waist and he merely goes crawling off on his hands as fast as he can.
Reeker is a solid, original horror film that will have you asking questions and re-watching it over just so you get the full effect of what is going on. A film that makes you think!
REVIEWED BY TIM JANSON