It’s always fun to find movies I’d missed from the 00s about young people getting into horror situations, and this trio satisfied that criteria, so let’s get into them.
ROAD TRAIN (aka: Road Kill) (2010)
This Australian flick is like Stephen Spielberg’s Duel with a much more supernatural angle…and a group of pretty people.
It starts immediately with a sex scene and some cute man booty in a tent.
Then we meet two couples on a road trip.
We don’t get much info about the trip, because they are almost immediately run off the road by a big rig. Their vehicle is totaled and one of them is badly hurt.
Setting out on foot, they quickly come upon the big rig, and it’s empty. They hop in and start driving…and supernatural shit begins to happen.
They end up stuck near a cliff, they split up, and the truck seems to begin giving them delusional visions and then “possessing” them. There’s also something going on in the cargo hold, and you basically watch the whole film to find out what it is…and to appreciate one of the guys running around shirtless for the second half of the film.
What begins as an intriguing slow burn turns into a convoluted, slow, repetitive disappointment, and nothing is ever explained—like a recurring, three-headed wolf theme.
FROM THE DARK (2009)
This cabin in the woods film actually does something a little different than the usual—although the concept is kind of odd and never irons out the details of what exactly is unfolding. That didn’t bother me so much in this case; I found it fun to just go with the supernatural insanity.
The film opens strong with a teen party interrupted by a crazy monster attack, which establishes the threat here…some sort of other dimensional portal appears in open doorways and tentacles come out to drag victims in.
After a very brief appearance by horror veteran Lar-Park Lincoln, plus some naked man butt, we meet a new group of friends. They go to a cabin in the woods to party and we get the usual drinking and banter.
And then…a bloody girl shows up at their door. They take her inside, and pretty soon those portals are opening and tentacles are impaling victims left and right. And it’s not just doors to the outside. Even the interior doorways randomly turn into portals.
Soooo…you would think the kids would all just gather in the middle of a room and stay away from doorways. Nope. Too stupid for that, but of course that’s the only way to up the body count.
Even though there seems to be a portal, the film gets confusing, because sometimes we see the victims still alive outside and in the clutches of some sort of monster that is totally shrouded in darkness. I lightened this still shot to get a better look at it.
The pace does plod along after a while as the kids sit around drinking and having sex in between playing Russian roulette with doorways. However, the final act adds a new element to the threat and delivers some nice gore. Personally, I think it would have made more sense to introduce this twist earlier in the movie so the kids would have seemed like they were smarter than sitting ducks…and because it was the best aspect of the movie.
I guess this movie might be interesting for those that haven’t seen many other films just like it. Two pop culture reasons to watch it include horror icon Michael Berryman as the obligatory old dude who tries to warn kids not to go to a cabin in the woods…
and 80s teen pop queen Tiffany as one of the “kids”. What’s most notable is that she isn’t given a meaty star role and is instead a background character. However, this role was her gateway to her breakout starring appearances in Mega Piranha and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid…
Anyway, the kids go to a cabin in the woods in an area where the infamous Donner Party resorted to cannibalism years before.
They’re snowed in, and one guy on “meds” begins to see dead people.
They also find a dead body. Then the body disappears. They all start having dreams and visions of cannibalism.
Eventually they begin turning on each other, almost like they are possessed by the Donners. It’s an interesting premise, but personally, I’ve seen it before.