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UKScreen Rating:


Trip (Whyte) steals hundreds of tabs of E from a ruthless dealer and hitches a lift, with four college students, to the biggest rave in the state.
Like with all of these kind of movies, all sections of society are represented here – from the drugged up Trip (get it?), the sensible one Gretchen (Illman), the surfer-dude Nelson (Richardson), the bimbo Cookie (Kebbel) and the worldly-wise blind guy Jack (Gummersall).
As luck would have it, they run out of gas at a deserted motel-and-gas-station complex in the middle of the dessert.
As they try to find a way to get out, night draws in, leaving them trapped for the night. Some start to bond, others fall out with each other, spooky things start happening, and soon they are – do I even need to finish the sentence? – dying off, one by one, in weird and wonderful ways.
After all the shocks, the main surprise for the survivors is the explanation of the most frightening night of their lives – which I won’t tell you…but of course, I don’t need to, as if you’ve seen any other films about a bunch of teenagers who get stranded at a deserted motel, you’ll have worked it out already.


What’s the point? I mean, really.
How many times can we watch the same film? A group of diverse teenagers – some wild and wacky, others stuck-up and serious – get stranded at a deserted motel in the middle of nowhere?
There’s bonding, arguments and peculiar deaths – you know who’s going to die – only the hows and whens remain a mystery.
Everything from the shock deaths to the denouement are clichés that have been done way better before, in films like Identity.
With the best will in the world, any film which relies on a cameo from someone of the stature of Michael Ironside to give it credibility really has no business on the big screen in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong – you will jump with fright occasionally and it is effectively creepy at times, in a cheap and obvious kind of way.
This film isn’t awful – it’s just not particularly good and not at all original – in fact, it’s just about the single least original film I can remember seeing. In its own way, even Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho was more original.
Why bother trying to repackage a bunch of ideas you’ve seen in other, similar films, but do it in a cheaper, less impressive way?
It also takes itself too seriously, with uncharacteristically little humour for the genre, and when it tries to be clever, it rebounds and slaps itself in the face. There’s a twist as pretentious as it is incoherent (if, sadly, completely predictable), which – if you do it the undeserved dignity of thinking about it – unintentionally leaves you with more questions, rather than fewer. And the pre-title sequence actually has no relevance to the rest of the film – OK, so the characters do show up again, but if they didn’t, it wouldn’t change anything, and in fact, starting the film with this sequence actually raises other questions, as it makes the denouement make even less sense than it already does.
Alas, this necessarily has to sound vague, as if I were more explicit, it would spoil the ride for those who are insistent on disregarding my advice to wait to see this on DVD with a keg of beer and a pizza.
This film is only for the cinema-illiterate – but the cinema-illiterate aren’t the kind of people who are going to get excited enough about a genre movie to dish out £10 to see it.

opens nationwide 30th June 2006



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