Friday, June 30, 2006

REEKER - neat idea, terrible dialogue

REEKER is an odd sort of movie. It starts off with a promising five-minute prelude that shows a family pull over on a deserted highway and fall victim to truly horrifying events. But then, after the credits, we flip into a derivative, mediocre teen horror flick. Five idiots are travelling in a station-wagon on an empty highway. Slightly less stupid driver says to idiot boy – “You can’t travel with me coz you half-inched twenty grand worth of E from a psycho.” Guess what? They all end up in a deserted motel with the psycho dealer trying to reclaim his stash and a mysterious leather-face type who smells bad and is taking to people with a razor-sharp egg-whisk. The movie progresses in such manner for around about an hour in which nothing happens that it is not entirely predictable and there is very, very little gore. Seriously, it could have a U certificate. The only noteworthy factor are some nice visual effects – usually when the second of the psychos appears but also some fun montages of victims’ life flashing before them. However, in the final twenty-five minutes or so, REEKER enters entirely different territory as the concept underlying the movie is revealed. The acting and dialogue don’t get any better but I was highly impressed by the underlying engine of events. Here was a twist that not only genuinely surprised me but also hung together in retrospect. Even after I left the movie theatre and considered all those plot threads that were seemingly left hanging – somehow they all tied up. So, I am left with an ambivalent review. A lot of REEKER is tired and laugh-out-loud bad. (Presumably, the South African tourist board is freaking out at the lead character saying she isn’t afraid of psycho murderers because she’s “from Johannesburg. It takes a lot to scare me.” But then again, there’s a pretty interesting and intelligent idea underlying the apparently derivative action. So, maybe this is one to check out on DVD.

REEKER has been on release in France and is now on release in the UK. No clue as to if or when it will hit the US, Germany, Austria or Australia.


  1. Hey Bina, I quite enjoyed this... review just up at Darkmatters (wanna trade links BTW?).
    Am meeting the foxy Keira Knightley this week - let me know if there's anything you'd like me to ask her? My wife wants to know "where her tits are?" but she's just a bitch when it comes to Keira!!

  2. Heh, I think that's women in general. My fiance can't stand her, but can't give me a reason why.

    I'm getting a bit disillusioned with modern "horror" films. Most of them tend to be PG-13, horror-lite remakes and there's nothing new or interesting on the horizon coming from Asia. What's a guy to do for his gore fix?

  3. @Ali D - revisit the classics. I just watched Psycho again and it's amazing how creepy it was even tho I knew the ending