Possession stories always find a special place with the horror fans, often enough it’s a house, cabin, or another type building, and then again, the vehicle in the horror flick, is just that, such as The Car (1977), The Hearse (1980), and Christine (1983). Sometimes the tales do get cheesy for example Haunted Trailer (2014) needing to exorcise a demon from their mobile home, but with director Tom Nagel (ClownTown ) he uses an RV (an old motorhome) and while other horror movies used the vehicle in Race with the Devil (1975) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977), the RV possession might actually be the first time it’s seen in this manner. Nagel works with screenwriters Jeff Denton (his first screenplay), Brian Nagel and Jeff Miller (The Burning Dead ) the most experience out of the group with understanding how to pen horror tales and makes sure to include a role himself in the flick as Steve. The motorhome definitely not a happy ride, rather a b-movie gruesome dirty road trip unleashed through Uncork’d Entertainment.
Charles (Greg Violand, who coincidently starred in The Devil’s Toy Box (2017), no relation to this movie, aside from it concerning a haunted asylum) wants to put his estranged family back together a promise he made to his wife just before she died, hence purchases a very vintage RV on the cheap, with most of the indoor features not working correctly, or at all. Hence, wife and husband Jennifer (Denise Richards, might you might recall her from Wild Things ) and Steve (Jeff Denton (Inoperable ), along with their young daughter Olivia (Malika Michelle), decide to go on a mini vacation with self-centered and pot-smoking brother Jay (Brian Nagel (Ouija House ). However, this actually isn’t the beginning strangely it snatched one victim prior to the trip but leaves no apparent visual trace early on in the story, it all changes soon enough. As they travel down a lonely stretch of desert road the come across a disabled vehicle and pick up a sister and brother duo Samantha (Mischa Barton (ZK: Elephant’s Graveyard ) and brother Mark (Matt Mercer (The Mind’s Eye ), clearly the clichés mount quickly, as customary a detour is required, and it results in a Wrong Turn meeting Hills Have Eyes. Yep, you got it, they break down and now comes the funky vehicle turn to harm, mayhem, and kills the guest, why, simple it was originally owned by the serial killer, Robert Gunthry (David Greathouse (The Dead Matter ) long since executed, now back to terrorize the unfortunate visitors to his shack on wheels. Unsure why this vehicle still exists and not destroyed, but oh well, one could hope it would be filled with more torture or just focus on a living Gunthry rather than a family, who seems not to have any redeemable factors. A series of moments hint that RV inhabits the traits of the previous owner, all in sadistic mannerism, and occasionally a ghost girl (Katie Keene (Union Furnace ), present to freak out, trying to cause a jump scare, though not successful to seasonal horror fan.
The film contains a grim storyline, using devices of weird weapons being found in the cabinets, the RV in full control of stopping, starting, chasing victims, just similar to Christine, just less stylized points. In addition, a barrage of polaroid shots of numerous dead women, strands of hair pulled from the drain spout and a warning to mothers, always pay visual attention to your children or they become the new feature SPLAT (sorry gorehounds nowhere near that much blood in this production). The overall movie strives to piling up a solid body count, and success comes to those wait, just how long into the road trip becomes the viewer’s choice.
The cast does a fine job with the material presented to them, especially both Richards and Barton both working to two different ends of the spectrum one for survival and one struggling to hold the last grasps of reality. A few annoyances come from the overuse of the term sweetie, it just becomes too tiring too quickly, as well as overacting in a few too many scenes. Tom Nagal made sure to get a great tagline “Vacations can be deadly” and eerie poster, sadly the music score drags down some of the key moments, but a late rescue comes from the dutiful edit cuts all work to grow tension.
The movie overall gives less than what many expect, however, it strives to create tension and suspense instead of sheer blood shedding, after all it’s not too hard in the horror genre to place all the right factors to create a run-of-the-mill horror tale, the effort comes from the ability to make it scary and fearful, to haunt the view long after they leave the screen. Hence, will this movie make you suspicious when seeing or traveling in an RV, likely not, then again who knows deviant things occurred there before, after all how many people buy used vehicles without an ultraviolet “blacklight”.
IMDb Rating: 4.1/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10