You’ve got to have some balls to name your film anything like ‘Reeker’ as its just inviting comments like ‘this movie stinks!’. This is especially risky if you’re producing something which is destined for a straight to DVD release. Sadly, or not as the case maybe, the film deprived me of the opportunity to make such comments as it wasn’t that bad at all.
The film centres on a group of 20 something’s travelling together to get to ‘Area 52’ the nations biggest desert rave; it may not surprise you that they never reach their destination. Not before long they run into car problems and end up in a deserted diner/motel, all alone (or are they?) and with no form of communication; mobiles have no signal, truck radios receive nothing but static and all the phones in the place have a ‘dead’ dial tone. Sound familiar? Well all throughout its duration the film cautiously teeters on the edge of falling into the ‘teen-horror’ cliché. All the elements are there but there is just something about ‘Reeker’ which makes it hard to put into the same box.
It’s down to the atmosphere for the most part. Within the motel itself there are plenty of eerie happenings, sinister writings, bodies in various state of decay, oh and where is everybody?; you know the usual - not original but it works. This plus the fact that the group seem to be stalked by a mysterious figure, whose identifying figure is that it stinks, amusing isn’t it? - We too were cracking jokes about the possibility that it might be the Golgotha shit demon from Kevin Smith’s ‘Dogma’. But believe it or not it doesn’t come across as particularly silly, especially when it seems to be wearing a gas mask (only natural I guess considering his odour problem) and has a set of power tools as appendages; it really is a sinister assassin, reminding me of the tooth fairy monster from ‘Darkness falls’ crossed with the creature from the end of the most recent version of ‘Boogeyman’.
The acting is pretty good and the dialogue too feels natural. All of the characters are identifiable and for the most part avoid doing the usual silly things which lead to their deaths, in this film there is no escaping it! Some light comedy scattered here and there aids with the films pretty rapid pace. The death scenes too are pretty good, although aside from one scene where one character appears to take a kitchen whisk in the stomach, the gore for the most part is held back which was a bit of a shame.
The only problem comes with the films progression, as the story develops what started off as a little weird begins to leave you feeling like the film is unravelling frame by frame and that’s when it comes, the twist ending. Naturally I’m not going to give it away but let’s just say that the ending does explain a lot although you can’t help feel the film took the long way round to get there. It’s not a let down and it’s by no means contradictory to the rest of the plot but as you will see (if you choose to view this film) it’s by no means original.
Overall the film was a pleasant surprise, it’s nothing original and its influences are pretty obvious but it certainly passed the time. This film is probably one for a Saturday night with your mates, especially if they are the sort of mates who will only watch mainstream horror.