Saturday, April 29, 2017

Wrecker


**

Although not exactly a complex premise of any real depth or intellectual stimuli, Wrecker (2015) operates under the influences of past “in peril drivers caught off the beaten path in the country being pursued by psycho trucker” horror outings and doesn’t necessarily eclipse them as much as maintain the basic behavior of them that made them successful. I didn’t think Wrecker was as bad as others. I didn’t find it dull, either, really. It is a rather okay thriller, with which I prescribe to how its plot is described in the general synopsis of “cat and mouse” and adhere to its ties to the Spielberg classic, Duel (1971). Wrecker doesn’t have Spielberg’s flair or energy and it doesn’t have the star power of Walker, Zahn, and Leelee Sobieski (or vocal menace of Ted Levine). There have been quite a few films featuring the truck driver terrorizing motorists on the road to some destination. Spending time with the motorists, and following everything from their perspective, the camera only paints the truck driver as a faceless (oftentimes) boogeyman, up to no good, with only bad intentions for the protagonists. Wrecker is no different, really.

Anna Hutchison is the main star with Drea Whitburn her tagalong until she goes missing towards the middle of the film. Hutchison is driving from Seattle to Sacramento and Drea is her wild, party-girl friend. Anna has been in a relationship under serious trouble due to her boyfriend’s cheating on her. Drea has been encouraging her to dump him and move on to a guy she has in mind for her. Drea is shown upon introduction downing booze, one bottle after another, and smoking grass, offering Anna some. Anna continues to burn down a strip in (presumably) California, reaching speeds of 120 at times. Winding roads on a scenic route, it appears that the two girls have failed to recognize the GPS hasn’t been working for some time and they drive into areas (of course) that are not reception friendly. This film continues the horror trend of the phones not working or communication breakdowns happening at the worst possible times. A warning at a service station regarding an oil check on the engine isn’t treated with much importance by Anna and Drea so you know that will perhaps factor in the film’s suspense at some point. Another scene involving a break at a diner where the two girls try to determine who it is that is driving the tow truck pursuing them also (not surprisingly) yields no positive outcome, instead causing a scene where Anna confronts a guy reading a newspaper just minding his own business who turns out to be someone innocent…he just had that kind of face, I guess. These are dutifully telegraphed to keep the tow truck driver free to torment the girls and for the trip into terror to remain on task. Car trouble, concealed identity, no phone reception, unfamiliar surroundings, roads with scattered vehicular activity, and this bullying truck of considerable bulk flexing its muscle against those that happen across it (wrong place, wrong time); Wrecker has all the ingredients and uses them with typical results.


 I think that is the film’s essential criticism. Those critiquing this with little enthusiasm consider what it does—follow the path already tread by others—has the results we perhaps expected but never does alter the formula enough to tantalize or compel in any way that would return dividends beyond them. Anna and Drea want to avoid the truck, trying to find ways to either pass it or allow it to pass them. But the truck (we see a cross hanging upside down and a pentagram also dangling from the truck’s inside mirror) has none of it. The tow truck driver persists in being a nuisance, a prevalent, needling bully just doggedly hogging the road and failing to leave the girls alone. Spending the running time with a pretty blond in a pretty red Mustang doesn’t exactly cause any great discomfort for me personally. Throw in Drea who wasn’t exactly tough on the eyes, either, and this particular updating on the formula was a welcome change for me, anyway. Once Drea exits the picture (the girls running into a field, when the car has a flat tire and their attempt to put on a spare is undermined, and Anna trips, hitting her head on a rock, awakening to no longer find Drea…), it is Anna reacting to the driver’s intent to cause her mental and physical harm. I kind of liked the film when it featured both ladies, honestly, but I understood the purpose behind Drea’s departure. We needed the lure of what might have happened to her and if the driver has her held captive against her will. The phone ring and a particular trunk is a rather gut-wrenching conclusion to that dangling carrot. 

The final game of chicken offers the rather resolute finale to the chase, with Anna getting even after spending a majority of the film as the one victimized. Canadian locations are quite an asset. Tough audience on this one as its reputation has suffered for not being a standout. At least it isn't amateurish...that should account for something. The direction doesn't necessarily always amp up the tension and maybe by not making the action more exciting could account for the film's lack of acceptance.









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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.