Friday, October 18, 2013
Halloween 2013: Road Trip Horror ~ Scenic Route & Wind Chill
Mitchell (Josh Duhamel) and Carter (Dan Fogler) are two life-long friends who are on a road trip through, for an indeterminable reason, Death Valley. When fate hits hard, Carter's old pick-up truck breaks down, leaving them in one of the hottest locations in the United States to be stuck in. Tempers quickly flare and tension replaces nostalgia as the two bicker about the crippled vehicle and why this specific route was chosen in the first place.
Once determined to make it playing guitar for a living, Mitchell is now married to someone he impulsively hooked up with after a bad break-up and has ended up with a wife, a child, a mortgage, and a decent yet tedious career - all of which at first it seems Carter is insanely jealous of. So he engineered the truck mishap to have some alone time with his BFF.
After long bouts of silence and Mitchell spending part of the night out in the desert cold, the two make amends (if only temporarily) and Mitchell confesses he recently cheated on his wife at a conference and admits his life is not what he had hoped. Honestly begins to show its face and soon they are laughing and Carter is cutting Mitchell's hair into a mohawk - something Mitchell always wanted but never had the guts to do.
With all the arguing is out of the way, the film morphs into true survival mode. The previous arguments and physical beatings seem very insignificant when you are fighting for your life. The two men are out of food and water, are physically and emotionally drained, and there's not a soul in sight for miles. They take to the desert on foot, intent on following the sun and finding their way out.
In the end, Scenic Route is a power play between the two pals, both unable to completely let go of the things that keep them apart but equally as determined to keep their friendship alive. A road trip can already make or break a friendship, but throw in horrific conditions and bitter regrets and Death Valley isn't just the name of a park.
MORE ROAD TRIP HORROR:
Wind Chill (2007) is more than a road trip film, it has supernatural elements that make it slightly more spooky than just a run-of-the-mill horror story. We've mentioned this film once before, in our Winter Horror feature - you can check out the wise words of James Gracey HERE. But for now, let me just say you could do worse than this little-known tale of road trip horror.
Without the benefit of names, our characters are simply boy and girl. Girl (Emily Blunt) is heading home from college for the holidays and finds a ride-share with Boy (Ashton Holmes). Girl is nothing other than ill-natured and doesn't readily converse with Boy, whose attempts at getting to know her fall on deaf ears.
As the two drive through the snowy landscape, they end up taking an off-the-main-route road that Boy says is a short cut. She argues with him about this decision, and becomes uneasy when she sees what looks like multiple crosses and grave sites along the sides of the road. When another car comes barreling towards them, they swerve erratically to miss it and end up in a snowbank.
As if wrecking in a snowstorm on a deserted road isn't bad enough, the supernatural strangeness starts when, upon searching for help, they run into what can only be called ghostly corpses that are compelled to live out their otherworldly existence reliving their untimely demises over and over again. Even worse, Boy may not be who he says he is. This road trip just barreled full force ahead into nothing less than the twilight zone.