Reeker (2005) starring Devon Gummersall, Derek Richardson, Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Michael Ironside, Eric Mabius, Marcia Strassman, David Hadinger, Les Jankey directed by Dave Payne Movie Review

Reeker (2005)   1/51/51/51/51/5

Reeker - Devon Gummersall, Derek Richardson, Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Michael Ironside

Reeker - more like stinker

Maybe with being called "Reeker" the team behind this horror were trying to give us a subtle warning that it stinks, because seriously it does. There are so many things wrong with "Reeker" from the storyline, the ending, the make up, it is hard to see why some reviewers and critics have actually praised it, but then for each review which praises "Reeker" there is a review which doesn't. Is certainly makes it a movie which has split opinion.

When five students, heading for a huge party, find themselves stranded at a recently deserted motel they try not to let it dampen their mood. But when they start to discover mutilated bodies and a foul stench in the air, they begin to fear for their lives.

Reeker - Devon Gummersall, Derek Richardson, Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Michael Ironside

When it comes to the plot "Reeker" is less than original, a group of students stuck in the middle of nowhere face a gruesome death, come on, been there, watched that and got the proverbial t-shirt. But then I suppose I can still see an audience for a movie with such an unoriginal plot line, that being teenagers themselves who may not have seen this sort of storyline before worked with greater expertise in other movies.

Whist the lack of originality detracts, for me what really made "Reeker" suffer was the countless plot holes which really make little sense and makes it quite a difficult movie to follow, well for me anyway. Throughout the entire movie you are left wondering as to why the heck have they done something and sadly no matter how long you wait you will be none the wiser, especially by the time the rushed ending comes along. Even this ending, which attempts to piece everything together to explain what you have watched leaves you even more confused and you end up challenging everything it wants you to think has happened.

But it is not all bad, and whilst the majority of "Reeker" suffers there are a few subtle moments of inspired ingenuity. One such moment was creating a character who was blind, thus making their other senses more alert than his friends and so he was able to smell the stench of impending doom a lot quicker than everyone else. But sadly these few moments are never used to their full effect and only leave you wondering what could have been with a greater creative talent behind the movie. It really does get so bad that you and others watching "Reeker" find yourselves taking the mick out of the scenes.

What also seriously lets "Reeker" down is the lack of any real tension. There are no moments where you jump or reach for a cushion in fright, as everything and I do mean everything is so telegraphed that you can see any attempts to scare you coming a mile off. This leaves the movie attempting to making you cringe with some seriously dodgy special effects and make up. Not since the early eighties have I seen mutilated corpses look as unconvincing as these. Right from the opening scene, which showed early promise, it delivers some of the least convincing make up I have seen and you start to wonder whether this is going to be more a horror parody than an all out fright fest. Now if they had made this into a horror-comedy maybe it would have worked ten times better than it does.

Thankfully at the time of watching the cast was pretty much a band of unknowns, except for Derek Richardson who I recognized from the equally poor "Hostel", so I wasn't left wondering why their performances were so mediocre, and I am being generous with calling them mediocre. Everything about their performances reeked of inexperience and I am sure on more than one occasion they were reading their lines from an auto-cue. It didn't help that none of the characters was that well written and just added to the confusion of the plot, but when accents and general stiffness leaves you laughing, you know you are in for a bumpy ride. As for the dialogue, well I am sure even the least knowledgeable movie watcher will be able to recognise some of the dialogue from other movies.

What this all boils down to is that I am seriously unimpressed with "Reeker", which is a shame as the underlying plot, although unoriginal, did have a glimmer of cleverness about it. When it comes to horror movies this really lacked everything I need to not only scare me but also to keep me watching.