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Road Kill (2010)

  Tags: Aussie, australia, australian, camping, Clive Hopkins, Dean Francis, evil, haunting, Possession, ProdigyMovies, road train, Sophie Lowe Xavier Samuel Bob Morley Georgina Haig, survival, thriller

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
4

roadkill.jpg
Rating #: 
4/10
Director: 
Dean Francis
Runtime: 
90 minutes
Cast: 
Sophie Lowe, Xavier Samuel, Bob Morley, Georgina Haig


Road Kill is one of eight films in Fangoria's new FrightFest distribution banner, where they plan to release the flicks on VOD, DVD, and digital download on the same date. If Road Kill is any indication as to the quality of the movies in the rest of the label then I wouldn't get my hopes up, as this turned out to be a sadly boring genre effort. The movie attempts to blend two sub-genres together and I actually liked the concept and what it attempted to achieve, but sadly it was just horribly executed.

At first the film seems like your standard road-oriented horror flick -- following two you couples heading towards a little camping adventure in the Australian outback when they're suddenly run off the road by a "road train" (essentially just a big rig pulling more than one container and is apparently more common in Australia). After they wreck their car they spot the said-vehicle at a complete stop and within walking distance.

Baffled as to why the driver would purposely run them off only to stop minutes later, they approach the vehicle and discover that there's no one behind the wheel. Suddenly, the owner of the road train (or just some random nut) frantically runs towards them, firing his gun in their direction, and forcing the group to make a quick decision to board the vehicle and take off before they get killed. Little do they know, the gun-totin' lunatic is the least of their worries now, as the road train itself may prove a far more sinister foe...

As I stated above, Road Kill attempts to blend your typical road-themed thriller with some supernatural elements -- instead of a maniac driver or a driverless car, we've got a haunted road train that somehow possesses and puts its passengers in a strange trance-like state. We're given little indication as to what kind of evil force is behind the vehicle aside from brief glimpses of a three-headed dog with red eyes (WTF?), which we normally see fade on screen after a character does something strange or devious.

I like the concept behind a haunted vehicle like this, but the execution is what I have the biggest problem with. For one, the film's drab pacing is a task to sit through -- there are several scenes that simply dragged on, nearly putting me to sleep in a couple occasions. At times it seemed as if the director didn't know exactly what to do with these characters and wanted to use up any remaining running time by showing their descent into madness or manipulation of key characters in the slowest way possible.

Another problem I have is with the three-headed red-eyed hound, which for some reason they must constantly remind us is the evil that resides within the road train. It's repetition leads to nothing, especially since the story behind the vehicle is never explored, but I suppose this is the director's intended attempt at being ambiguous (or simply a plot hole).

Finally, we have our cast of unlikable characters, none of which I didn't care whether they lived or died since we're not given enough development for us to form an opinion (aside from some minor relationship drama between friends). In fact, I'm surprised I even sat through the first hour without constantly hitting the fast-forward button, because by that point, I honestly didn't care what the outcome was.

Road Kill offers an interesting concept, but due to the poor execution, resulted in a dull and failed attempt at crossing sub-genres. Had certain aspects been explored further or the premise relied less on the monotonous downward spiral of these uninteresting characters then it might've been a decent watch, but as it stands, it's not something I'd personally recommend.

Posted on June 29, 2010 - 8:42pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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