Five students sharing a ride to a party in the desert find themselves stranded at a recently deserted motel when a remote highway is closed. Refusing to let this interfere with their fun, they settle in only to be interrupted by odd, haunting visions. The gruesome sightings may explain the sudden abandonment or the motel, but the appearance of a strange man confirms their worst fears. He too has seen the dying people - victims of a killer, one that has likely taken his wife - a killer trailing a dark force of decay and rot. As the body count rises, the bizarre mystery deepens... can the group survive the night and confront what appears to be a terrifying abyss between the living and the dead?
Just finished watching Reeker and while im still buzzing from the experience thought I would write my thoughts down.ryems preety straight forward,a group of teen friends are off to area 52 some sort of festival on highway 90.Guess what?Yep.There car breaks down at a motel and they are forced to stay the night.From there on in its typical stuff.Filmed in the same sort of style as The Hills have eyes and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes it certainly maintains a high level of suspense and keeps you guessing right to the end.You will watch this movie thinking that its a right load of predictable tosh but if you watch it right to the end it certainly delivers.
‘Reeker’ doesn’t start well. A family are driving down a desert highway, and the little boy is so nauseating, the viewer is instantly longing for him to come to a sticky end. Sadly, while his mother and father (and dog) are duly despatched after hitting a deer with the family car, the little angel’s demise is unrecorded.
After the opening credits, we meet ‘a group of young friends’: Trip takes drugs, Jack is blind, Cookie is naive, Gretchen sounds English (but could be Australian or Swedish, her pals speculate) and Nelson fancies Cookie. Trip is being stalked by Radford, his dealer. The acting isn’t always stellar, and as the storyline unfolds, it is so foggy it is open to interpretation. And yet, I really, really like this film (and its subsequent prequel, filmed in 2008). There is a genuine sense that the isolated desert, the motel in which (and around) the group stay, in fact their whole world, is removed from reality and doesn’t adhere to any rules. The shocks pile up until it becomes clear that, to use a cliché, anything can happen. A truly creepy and unfathomable atmosphere is created.
As glimpses of the original family (and the deer!) that are scattered throughout the story hint, the characters all appear to have died, although this is never made explicit (other than a rumbling, earthquake effect signifying the fatal crash of their camper van as they pass from life into death without knowing it). In this limbo state, Reeker comes for them. Drenched in a shimmering effect, the creature otherwise goes through typical slasher/killer motions, but because events around him/it exist in a ‘heightened reality’, Reeker’s appearance takes on an extra dimensional, unearthly quality (the foul stench of death signals his arrival, hence his name). As Reeker claims his victims, they assume similar fates to when they died originally. This is my interpretation; I may be wrong, but it makes sense of events to me. Themes are confounding, but very much worth investing in.
The set-pieces encompassing each (secondary) death are by turns stunning, gross, horrific and hilarious. And always bizarre.
In the end, only Gretchen and Jack survive their meeting with Reeker. As they are driven away by the police, they see their camper van on its side, the remains of their friends’ bodies scattered around it. Despite the creature’s attempts to kill them, they could not die because they didn’t cry in the original crash. The film doesn’t go out of its way to explain the true nature of Reeker, nor the unfortunate events that befall the luckless travellers; the tale is enigmatic, but well worth your time.