Detour (2002)

This film is the retarded inbred cousin of “The Hills Have Eyes”.  It’s not derivative, it’s a straight up remake as performed by high school students who have never studied movie making and only read a review of the original film, so they really didn’t know why it was great or why it worked.  Everything that makes that film great and helped it create a genre is missing from this mess.

A group of the most annoying stereotypes ever assembled make a detour while driving home from a rave.  Once they ignore the creepy guy at the gas station who warns them to leave (of course) and after they predictably break down in the middle of nowhere, they are beset by murderous cannibals which are never really explained…apparently bands of cannibals wander the wastelands out west.  Needless to say, the young partygoers immediately split up and get killed one by one until a climactic showdown that winds up not being a showdown at all because the director wanted a chase scene and decided to shove in some crazy set pieces of the cannibals’ lair.  Obviously, this has nothing to do with the rest of the story (such as it is).

There are a couple of decent kills and one or two decent moments of tension which save this film from being a complete waste of time – it’s not entertaining or good, but at least some of it isn’t actually physically painful to watch.  The acting and makeup are bad, the dialog is attrocious even by B-movie standards and the characters are largely unlikeable.  Ask yourself this question: when was the last time you actually noticed the wardrobe in horror movie?  It’s noticeable here and not because they crafted a really memorable look for the cannibals (although the leader has a pretty sweet meathook-looking weapon).  No, it’s noticeable because these kids (who were on an overnight trip, remember) have more wardrobe changes than Cher.  It’s enough that it literally becomes distracting seeing some of these characters go through four outfits over the span of a day.

The cannibal genre has spawned a lot of lowlights in recent years.  The “good” news is that this film has so far remained obscure enough not to spawn the trail of bloody carnage that the “Wrong Turn” franchise has become.

Stars: 2/5



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