Reeker has a very entertaining opening…a family are driving down a highway in the desert when they hit a deer. They stop & their dog goes running off. The dad goes after it & when he returns he is missing half his face. Sure, the CGI isn’t that great but for shock value it ticks all the right boxes!
The movie then cuts to Trip (Scott Whyte) meeting his drug dealer, Radford (Eric Mabius). Trip is off to a rave in the desert with his friends but wants to double down on his fun by buying a load of pills. Radford obliges but when his back is turned Trip steals a humongous bag of drugs.
This scene is the perfect anti-drug commercial. Don’t do drugs, kids as you’ll end up so stupid that you’ll actually think it’s a good idea to steal a massive bag of drugs from a dealer. It’s gob-smackingly dumb & unsurprisingly comes back to bite Trip on his idiot ass later!
Trip meets his pals, Cookie (Arielle Kebbel), Nelson (Derek Richardson), Jack (Devon Gummersall) and Gretchen (Tina Illman) & they head off to the rave. The group are your usual horror movie fare with one exception, Jack, who is blind.
Driving through the desert they spy an over-turned car that looks to have recently crashed. Before they can stop to help the sounds of sirens are heard & Trip freaks out about the number of drugs he is carrying. He reveals this information to the rest of the group & Gretchen is furious. She is so furious that she stops the car & attempts to kick him out in the middle of the desert.
While arguing outside the car a sudden tremor shakes the group & distracts them from the argument. Gretchen calms down & agrees to leave Trip at a diner they had recently stopped at. Once there though they find it deserted, the car suddenly breaks down & they hear on the radio that the highways are closed because of an accident.
Realising they are now stuck they decide to spend the night at the deserted diner. Unfortunately for them, they are not alone. Something else is at the diner, something inhuman. The rave is completely forgotten, now it’s just a desperate fight to survive.
Reeker is a surprisingly enjoyable watch, one filled with flashy visuals & good gory moments. The story is well told, a little slow in places but it flows well. Its problem lies in its twist. Yes, Reeker has a twist & while it is satisfying it does leave some plot holes & is fairly obvious if you pay attention to the early parts of the movie.
The cast play their roles perfectly fine, nothing outstanding or memorable. Once in peril, they are all pretty interchangeable except Jack. Disappointingly his blindness isn’t utilised well enough to make decent scares & the strength of his other senses seem to come & go.
The villain of the movie is an odd looking one. It’s steampunk outfit, strong smell of death & weapons of choice making it stand out from the crowd. The problem with it lies in what its motivations are. Even once the end credits roll it’s not clear just what it was or why it operated in the way it did. There’s a fair amount of guesswork & filling in the blanks needed to fully understand just what occurred.
As mentioned above the best thing about the movie are the gory moments. Every death is built up nicely with the end result being visceral & violent.
At times it can drag, the talky moments are pretty boring & there are quite a few. Sub-plots involving Gretchen & Jack’s relationship fall flat & the brief introduction of Michael Ironside feels wasted. There’s plenty to enjoy in Reeker but it takes far too many missteps to be considered a horror great.
A sequel was released in 2008, No Man’s Land: The Rise of Reeker (Reeker 2 in the UK).
The Final Score - 5/10