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Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry

Director: Nimrod Antal

Or: Motel Hell 2. You can tell when the characters in a chiller say 'I took a short cut' they're in trouble. Bickering, soon-to-be-divorced Amy (Beckinsale) and David (Wilson) damage their car on a B-road avoiding a raccoon, and stop at a remote gas station where the mechanic (Embry) examines their car - which breaks down after another mile.

Back at the motel adjoining the gas station, they wake up the manager (spooky Whaley). When he tells them that there are no phones (at a motel?), doesn't take credit cards and requires ID (for cash?), they should surely smell a dangerous rat. But no. They shack up at Cabin 4, where watching 'snuff videos' makes them realise they are about to become one, courtesy Whaley and a couple of masked torturer/assassins.

The rest of the film concerns their frantic attempts to escape their seemingly inevitable fate. Even outside the room they're cornered and have to dive back in (where they kiss!!). To be fair, once it gets going, this certainly does rack up the tension, even if the plot has more gaps than the exits and entrances in Whaley's rooms.

Spoiler alert:

I just hope Beckinsale tells Wilson when he recovers from his wounds that she dispatched all the bad guys single-handed. What a gal.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Sony (Screen Gems). Colour by De Luxe.
85 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 10 Jun 2007