Two girls in a Mustang taking a road trip to flee their troubles end up at a crossroad, and choose to shortcut through the 'Devil's Pass'. What could possibly go wrong?
A whole lot of things, of course, but all of these things have a common cause: a wrecking truck they drive past, that starts following them, then drives past, then stops, then goes on... with a driver that never reveals himself, with an upside-down cross and pentagram hanging in the windshield. Considering that reference I was expecting a lot worse.
We see this scene as seen looking out through the windshield of the truck, and the first time we do it's an eerie change of perspective, but with each revisit it starts getting old, as do the frequent stops and short-lived chases, and races, and reoccurring panic.
It starts pretty well, but after a while it feels like all that's feeding the fear are the two girl's paranoia. It's basically like Duel (1971), but with a girlier cast, and forty minutes into the movie not a single crash - just a bunch of potential stalls and stops and drive-by's along the way.
Like they don't want to damage the most expensive car in their inventory. I thought they might save the best for the last, but the end creeps closer and closer and still not a single dent on that magnificent Mustang...
I liked the beginning. Great intro music, uplifting scenery, and an atmosphere that grows brooding as soon as the trucker shows up, but somewhere along the way it starts getting silly. Repetitive. The sceneries are so similar it feels like they shot some parts of the ride on the same bend of the road, and depending on how they're filming the chase it looks both ridiculously fast (close-up) and ridiculously slow (as it most probably was... most of the time).
The switches are inconsistent, the fuel issue is underplayed, there are too many other cars on the road even at the end for the menace to be as perceptible as it could have been, and when the oil runs out and everything slows down... she just decides to rev the engine anyway and all goes OK! Just to name a few of the details that bug me.
It all ends with unfortunately bad CGI, and not a single car truly crashed. Could've been good but... sometimes budget really is a limitation. If that is the limitation. Not to mention inconsistencies and not all that impeccable acting, either. A few loose ends are left untied, and it's refreshing that the mystery driver remains a mystery even at the end, but the main chase could have been done better, and probably with a better cast as well.
Great beginning, and good end, but it's the stuff in between that really matters. Like a giant just stepped on a car and left the whole middle section crushed: It's just not good enough to drive now, even though front and back still look brand new. They may not wreck the cars here, but they do wreck the movie. Alright, enough similes and strangeness, I'll give it a...
rated 2/5: decent