Saturday, May 3, 2008

Rest Stop: Dead Ahead (2006)

Rest Stop is the first movie from Raw Feed Films, which appears to be along the same lines as Lions Gate, who obviously can attribute a lot of their early success from taking the horror films that no one else wanted.

Rest Stop begins with a young couple leaving Texas for California. Sadly, this girl is a major wuss right from the start, and before anything happens, I'm questioning her chances to survive so much as a bee sting. After a little soft core porn and some attempts at "artistic" nudity, they're on the road again and pulling over at a rest stop. Remember those old rest stops with just grass and a little building before the "service areas" that are around today? There are definitely still some in way upstate New York on the way to Canada, and they sure are creepy.

Anyway, I digress. The girl, Nicole, goes into the creepy little building by herself and it is a total pit. Upon returning, she sees that her boyfriend and his car is gone. It's at this time she realizes that this truck they saw earlier in the day is now stalking her, and probably has her boyfriend, eeek. So she breaks into the ranger's office on-site, and tries to use the CB radio to call for help. Now didn't this chick learn anything from Joy Ride? The psycho is always on the other end of the CB. However, she's under the impression that police are coming, but yet she proceeds to GET DRUNK. As much as I'd want to forget about this whole situation, I probably would stay sober in case the guy comes back, but that's just me.

So the guy keeps coming back as Nicole runs back and forth between the ranger's office and the bathroom, even running into another "victim." She also manages to catch a ride for a hot minute with this crazy family in a trailer, and yeah I know the scene made no sense, but it was seriously creepy. When the cops finally do show up, WOAH, it's Joey Lawrence! Madness ensues, and of course the police officer never calls backup before his motorcycle is destroyed. There's more death and destruction and the "follow up" conclusion was effectively creepy.

I liked this movie, and I'm aware that I'm in the minority on this. Yes, it was annoying that she never did just walk down the highway, but I think the premise was that if she tried that, he would have picked her up shortly on the open road. The film had genuine creepiness, and envoked that claustriphobic in the open feeling, used by Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the like. The soundtrack was cheesy, but the acting wasn't bad. I'm planning on watching again (and avoiding old rest stops, for pretty much ever)

Grade: C (The remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre - not a classic, but creepy and pretty damn scary)
Editor's Note: I really liked this freakin' movie. But after viewing with my fiancee and my horror-freak sister, they made me feel like a complete retard for rating it so favorably. So, Kate and Jer, grade changed for you. Let me know if you have any other input...jerks ;0)