In the creation of a creepy horrifying horror movie, as evil estate agents say, location is everything. Where you set your macabre masterpiece can make or break your movie.
The barren wastelands of the Antarctic make The Thing even more terrifying and inescapable, as well as proving right the classic tagline that ‘man is the warmest place to hide’. Likewise The Shining’s Overlook Hotel with its labyrinthine corridors and otherworldly décor is the perfect place for Jack to go mad in and practice his wood chopping skills on his unfortunate family.
Choose a good location or setting and the tension is trebled in the first few seconds choose a bad one and we waste half an hour explaining how the characters all ended up on this strange island of mutated creatures in the first place (yes Arachnid I’m talking about you!)
Haunted houses, spooky woods, abandoned hospitals, desolate spaceships and many other more original areas and abodes are the places where fear lives and terror hides. Pound shops, jumble fairs, telephone call centres and butterfly houses are not locations for horror movies (although killer butterflies is a good idea for a film.)
Oh and if you ever have the misfortune of watching Wreckage you can now add junk yards to the list as well.
Wreckage as you can probably guess is a slasher movie set in a junk yard. One of the many annoying things about the film is there is seemingly no reason to set the film in a junk yard other than perhaps the film company had a junk yard set they weren’t using that week, the director was thinking of setting up a car wrecking business and wanted to do some research on the sly or the writer had a massive fear of scrap metal he felt the need to share with the world.
The film opens with a badly filmed, badly acted and badly scripted flashback scene where two kids shoot there druggie mother’s boyfriend and turn the gun on her and it deteriorates from then on.
Skip forward years later and a killer has escaped prison and is on the run in a small town in the middle of nowhere where four good looking teens also live. These teens form two couples Jared an ex-military car obsessive and the love of his life Kate both being the very antithesis of annoying idiot Rick and his knocked up lady Jessica.
With nothing to do the foursome go out drag racing, well its just Rick in the car but the others somehow magically appear from nowhere after the race ends abruptly perhaps transported by a worm hole or something. This worm hole is one way sadly and with Ricks car broken the foursome must walk all the way home.
But wait says one bright spark, why not head to the abandoned scarp yard and get some parts so we don’t have to walk. Not the junk yard the audience screams God no please don’t go to the junk yard! Before they know it friends get shot and disappear, cops show up, a mad hick gives desperate comedic support and a killer is on the lose, the one who escaped at the start of the film remember. And it all happens on a scary, frightening junk yard at night of course.
You probably wont remember or care about anyone in Wreckage because it is a terrible horror film. Director John Mallory Asher a man better known for directing episodes of the dire One Tree Hill and acting in such classics as Double Dragon where he was Smartass Mohawk (if only Wreckage was about that character!) fails to create not only any tension but any sense of a real story. This is not helped along by the terrible soap opera-esque music and the extremely low budget quality of the sound and lighting.
The junk yard provides us with imaginative, innovative and never before seen deaths such as car falling on person death, crushed in car death and hung by hook off the back of a tow truck death all of which are as badly realised and shot as they are scripted.
Talking of the script the actors all appear to be making there lines up as they go along which would have been okay if they had known anymore about the point or plot of the film. Made up of TV teens and bit part nobodies they all try their best but sadly they all fail including Cameron Richardson who was amazing in Harpers Island and here barely gets to act at all.
The only actor worth mentioning is Scoot McNairy who blew audiences away in Monsters and is here given the challenging and career developing role of Junk Yard Hick Idiot which he plays with all his heart and soul instilling a small amount of pity from the audience by crafting what little comedic value and character he can from what is fundamentally an offensive stereotype.
Wreckage is not a good film, Wreckage is not a so bad its good film, Wreckage is just a bad film. A car crash of a movie that at 86 minutes (most of which seem to be the opening and closing credits) is still 86 minutes too long. Wreckage is so bad in fact that even if it wasn’t set in a junk yard it would still be awful.