It’s a shame that a film can offer so much and deliver so little. The idea is a great one, with it’s roots deep in homage to 70’s horror. A couple (Beckinsale and Wilson) get lost on the way home travelling through the US countryside, their car breaks down and they end up staying in the dodgiest looking motel with a real shady manager. The room is dirty, sheets unclean and tap water runs black. (I had a recent, similar experience in Birmingham. I did not stay) The husband decides to check out some video cassettes and discovers some brutal home videos, filmed in that very room. They are in their very own reality gore TV show.
The basic idea is a great one, and original at that, taking the idea from Psycho and adding a little to it for a new audience, but as with many of the recent Hollywood horror, this one just doesn’t hit the mark. The story makes no sense and the whole situation doesn’t really add up which leaves the viewer counting down the minutes and knowing the characters every move. Kate Beckinsale makes watching this film just about bearable, although Luke Wilson also puts in a descent performance with the over edited script.
The film also fails to supply any real violence or gore which it’s crying out for, given it’s subject matter, punches and slaps are as brutal as it gets. We don’t really even have any hint of any real threat as the two main characters outwit the motel owners, dodging from room to room via tunnels and doorways, even thought the whole place is rigged with cameras. A dreadful ending also, but I cannot believe there is a sequel?!