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Stars: Devon Gummersall, Tina Illman, Derek Richardson, Michael Ironside, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Eric Mabius, Marcia Strassman

Director: Dave Payne

If this had been a turkey, half the reviews would have complained that Reeker smelled. Fortunately for the film-makers, it isn't and it doesn't.

No, what we have here is a flawed, but pretty good - and fairly original - horror film that finds five students, one a blind man, stranded at a recently deserted 'halfway motel' on an American desert highway.

They see people who may be dead, are joined by a trucker with a dicky heart (who's searching for his wife) and become aware of an evil presence that reeks of death and decay.

There's an opening sequence that seems to make nonsense of the 'explanation' at the end, and the odd ludicrous line - 'Jesus, Trip, are you OK?' asks one character of a friend who staggers into shot with half an arm missing. But by and large this will keep your attention gripped and your heart thumping - until it regresses to formula modern horror towards the end.

An unknown cast - save for the creepy Ironside as the trucker - are merely adequate in roles that call for them to register apprehension and terror but not much more.

David Quinlan

USA 2005. UK Distributor: Path?. Color by FotoKem.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 12 Jul 2006