Please allow me to state something up front: I am (in general) a fan of highway horrors. Anything from The Hitchhiker, to Joy Ride, or even Eric England’s sophomore release, Roadside, is right up my ally. This is a sub genre with (ironically) very little mobility. You’re going to be in a car and on a highway or deserted stretch of road indefinitely while horrible shit happens. There is a level of realism that I can appreciate in several releases in this space – but Micheal Bafaro’s Wrecker is not one of them.
We follow two girls as they travel from point A to point B. Where they are coming from, where they are headed to, or who they are meeting isn’t important. They’re two attractive young women that have polar opposite personalities – that’s all we need, right? Oh, and they have a mustang that gets an INSANE amount of camera time. Let me tell you, somebody loves that car. Eventually, the ladies decide to pass a truck (or wrecker) on the highway, and that’s apparently something you just can’t do – because this man (who has upside-down crosses and pentagram ornaments hanging from his rear view mirror….yes, really) does not take kindly to such actions. He proceeds to pursue the ladies for the following 65 minutes or so.
The familiarity of some scenes can be explained by a somewhat low-key mention on the film’s IMDB page that Wrecker is a “remake” of Steven Spielberg’s Duel. I think that may be a bit of a stretch, but there’s no doubt that inspiration was drawn from several highway horrors. The problem is that Wrecker does absolutely nothing to create an identity for itself. We spend SO much time simply looking at our leading ladies through the front windshield or at the ass end of their Mustang. Aside from a few (admittedly well done) out-of-car pursuits – it’s kind of boring. You’ve seen all this before – which means you’ll see everything coming from 6 miles away. More importantly, this entire situation could have been avoided by simply telling someone at a heavily populate diner that they are being terrorized or TURNING THE FUCK AROUND and going home. These characters aren’t dealing with moral conflicts or holding the lives of others in their hands like some other films in this vein. There is practically no motivation for them not to just turn around… go back to the gas station they passed a few minutes ago (or that aforementioned diner), and just wait it out. That wouldn’t make for a very good movie though, would it it? Well, neither does this.
There’s nothing wrong with the acting or the way that the film’s fairly limited scenes are shot. It just doesn’t matter. None of it matters. The story is almost non-existent, there’s very little violence, shock value, suspense, or retribution – and that ending bumper scene… whew. If you have a full day of house cleaning ahead of you and feel like throwing some “made-for-TV” movie on in the background for noise – Wrecker would be a solid alternative. But if you’re looking for an engaging take on an established sub genre – you’ll need to look elsewhere.
THEATRICAL, VOD and iTUNES RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2015
Keep It Moving
There’s nothing wrong with the acting or the way that the film’s fairly limited scenes are shot, but if you’re looking for an engaging take on an established sub genre – you’ll need to look elsewhere.