With Justin Long, Gina Phillips, Patricia Belcher, Jonathan Breck, brandon Smith, Eileen Brennan
Directed by Victor Salva

While film-makers are slowly but surely putting the nail in the resurgent (or rather re-hashed) slasher genre that flared up in the late-'90s, occasionally a good one slips through. In this case however, the traditional scenario of a brother and sister travelling home from college along country roads get handled in such a way that it seems fresh and exciting. With a rumoured tale of some people dying and/or disappearing from that road, the expected cherry gets popped when they get terrorized by a beat up old van. When they spot the driver of this van (which sped past them) dumping what looks like bodies down a drain pipe, things get creepy. He pursues them no end, but they lose him. Deciding to go back and see what he discarded, things get even more freaky. Our villain is hardly what he seems and the fight for survival becomes a desperate one as the horror follows them. The lack of music for most of the first part, which is mainly character development, adds to the realism within this gruesome unreal situation into which the director sucks you - anticipating, but yet unexpectedly so. This one can actually get close to calling itself scary as opposed all the other boring shock tactic honkers that keep popping up. While it follows many familiar recipes, at least the style, tension building and awesome villain is approached in a invigorating way.
PS. You'll notice
Francis Ford Coppola's name in the production credits…a result of its more classy approach, or was the project better than others that came across his desk or was he attracted to something fun and creepy?

5 / B
- PB

1 2 3 4 5 6
A - B -

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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