Friday, January 23, 2009

Rest Stop

Nicole and Jesse leave their home in Texas to make a new start in California. Since this is a horror movie, you know that’s not a good idea. Just pass the California border; they have a run-in with a redneck in a yellow pickup. After they stop at a rest stop (hence the title) for Nicole to use the restroom, things go horribly wrong. Jesse is kidnapped, and Nicole is marooned in the isolated waystation, at the mercy of the mysterious stranger.

Her efforts to escape come to naught, as she encounters a bizarre hyper-religious family, and discovers a tortured young girl hiding in the closet of the rest stop. The girl has been kidnapped and tortured by the man in the yellow truck – in 1971.

There are logic holes in the plot. The mysterious driver returns repeatedly to torment Nicole, but she never thinks of hiding in the nearby woods. She also has the horror victim’s tendency to discard any potential weapons, although in fairness, they wouldn’t have done her any good.

This 2006 movie by former X-Files writer John Shiban is not exactly well loved, but I enjoyed it. It becomes a better movie once you understand the origin of the driver of the yellow pickup, which you don’t get until halfway through the credits.

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