Just walk away from this one! Just walk away and you may have just saved yourself 98 minutes of your life!
[This of course is the 2006 remake, and not the classic 1977 Wes Craven film]
This film from Alexandre Aja isn’t what I would call pure doodie… but it certainly is flush-able in my opinion. If you’re taking a vacation or road trip, please follow these cardinal rules:
- When you come across a gas station in the middle of the New Mexican desert, and the attendant happens to be the creepiest guy on the planet, don’t take his advice… just don’t.
- If you are dim-witted enough to disregard rule #1, and are now stranded, don’t, absolutely do not go separate directions, alone, especially leaving your wife, daughter, sexy daughter and grandchild alone. Leaving a pre-pubescent male-child with a 9 milli isn’t “keeping things safe.”
- And if your stupid dog goes darting into the desert canyons, don’t be as stupid as your dog. Stop, remember that you’re human and wait for the dog to get hungry and return on his own.
There were lots of rules broken on this trip, and to be honest, it caused a lot of irreversible death. One thing did surprise me towards the end of this movie, however, and that was when sexy daughter (Emilie de Ravin) decides to make a Survivor Man-style signal fire by burning one of the useless tires. This was probably the smartest single act of realistic survival that I saw in the entire movie.
Just to give you the lowdown, here’s the set-up:
Meet good ol’ American family the Carters. The Carters are on a road trip. Dad (Ted Levine) is a retired detective that gives his son-in-law Doug (Aaron Stanford) a hard time. Mom (the always enjoyable, except maybe this time, Kathleen Quinlan) is accompanied by her two daughters, Lynn (Vinessa Shaw) and Brenda (Emilie de Ravin), son Bobby (Dan Byrd) and two german shepards (Beauty & Beast). They are off to sunny California by way of the New Mexican desert wasteland that was once a major nuclear test zone in the 1950’s and 60’s.
After following said attendant’s advice, the Carters take the short cut… along the unpaved road and, incidentally out of cell phone reception, through the “stomping grounds” of mentally deranged , cannibalistic mutants. Oh joy!
The only upside to this movie was that there was a fairly decent cast assembled. Lost fans will surely enjoy their dose of “Claire” (Emilie de Ravin) while X-Men fans have “Pyro” (Aaron Stanford). But a movie cannot be carried by the weight of their actors and this film is no exception. And actually, in my opinion, the two youngest (besides the baby. Emilie and Dan) gave the better performances of the lot. The rest of the movie can be chalked up to poor writing and plot development. There is even this strange, patriotic endorsement throughout the film that is just gimmicky and strange. Direction of a movie such as this needs a more refined and artistic quality,… someone that draws you in and snares an audience rather than bombarding them with random lashings of the ultra-violent.
Little girls and weak boys beware, this movie might frighten you. But those of us that have seen our share of horror flicks might come away unimpressed with this one. I have intentionally left out a countless number of goofs, should-not-haves, and oh-my-god-that-was-soo-stupids in hopes that you have caught them for yourself. Let us know what you think about this one! What would you have rated it and why? The lines are open….