Sunday, July 02, 2006
Film Review: Reeker
Dir. Dave Payne
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Air pollution warning: This week, just as the bitter stench of our World Cup defeat begins to clear, along comes something even fouler to replace it… “Evil is in the air” reads the poster line for Reeker and they’re really not kidding.
The idea of a ‘bad smell’ as a horror film villain is surely a curious one, but in a genre where we’ve been subjected to such vast and eclectic mix of psychos, monsters and general unpleasant types, I wasn’t immediately convinced that it would work. Somehow though Reeker manages to do a fairly decent scare job and turns out not to be the complete stinker that the title might imply.
The plot is the old tried and tested teens break down in the middle of nowhere and are preyed upon one by one classic – straight off the shelf of ‘horror movies for idiots’. The cast are your average bunch of good looking up and coming actors – looking to get noticed by dying in spectacular ways on screen. In fact the whole feel is of a B-Movie homage just with better than average special effects and some seriously diabolic convention mangling in-jokes. This time last year I was ripping House of Wax to pieces for relying on the same recycled ideas, so why aren’t I tearing Reeker to pieces too? The fact is that this movie tries really hard to please its audience, rather than looking to just make a quick buck from suckers who like a mid summer horror thrill. The characters are developed to the point where you almost care what happens to them, an effective eerie atmosphere is achieved through small ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ moments and the special effects used to show the ‘killer stink’ on screen work well. The tension is built up nicely right from the full on start, which boasts the dubious honour of having the best roadkill scene ever committed to film… If you’re a Bambi fan you’d be well advised to keep you eyes tight shut until the openings credit roll or you might be traumatized for weeks.
It is obvious that director Dave Payne reveres classic horror films and is keen to make Reeker in their image, whilst also adding some fun new elements of his own. So if you’re in the mood for some grizzly carnage rather than swashbuckling pirates or dull code conspiracies – follow your nose and check out Reeker.
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö – Nicely paced
Laughs ööö – Very dark humour at work here
Horror öööö – Inventive deaths and real tension
Babes öööö – Arielle Kebbel, in tiny briefs... ouch!
Overall ööö1/2 (grim n stinky but not in a bad way)
"beautiful scenery masks some unpleasant, and smelly, dangers..."
"Arielle Kebbel... yes she struts around in her underware in Reeker in case you were wondering..."
Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Matt Adcock at 9:28 pm