Reviewed by: Leanne McGrath

Inspired by true events, Stuart Gordon combines horror and humour in this gory thriller satirising the selfish nature of society.

Mena Suvari is Brandi Blonski, a hard-working but hard-partying worker at a retirement home. She cares about her patients – happily cleaning them up after rather unsavoury accidents – and is finally about to be promoted.

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But after a night out clubbing, drinking and taking ecstasy, she drives home and slams into Thomas Bardo (Stephen Rea). In a panic, she forgets her caring instinct and races home with her blood-drenched victim still trapped in her windscreen. Realising she could lose her liberty never mind her promotion, she leaves him in the garage while she and her ghetto-fabulous, low-time dealer boyfriend Rashid (Russell Hornsby) decide what to do.

The accident is the predictable end to a hellish day for Thomas. He has already been evicted, ignored at the employment office and threatened with arrest before before left to bleed to death.

Gordon does a good job of portraying Brandi as both a villain and a victim. She is as stuck in this terrifying predicament as her unfortunate victim. Her selfishness and that of the folk who find Thomas – her boyfriend and Latino neighbours – cynically represent society's own every-man-for-himself mentality. Rashid is only interested in getting laid and his drug deals not being revealed to the cops, while Brandi's neighbours ignore Thomas as they fear the police will deport them.

Thomas, on the other hand, realises his life isn't worthless - he is more than just a bum to be ignored and forgotten about and fights for survival. As the minutes turn to hours he becomes more determined to escape rather than accept his fate. He's not going down without a fight this time. Stephen Rea's perfect in the role - his sad sack, expressive face the best thing in the movie.

The gore factor is rammed to the max, with some truly stomach-churning scenes such as a dog eating Thomas's wounds as he screams in agony. The impact of the smash itself has the edge taken off it by Suvari's over-the-top screaming. It's a tad Scary Movie but there are slapstick-like elements throughout to lighten the tone, so perhaps this is intentional.

Gordon is aiming for Hitchcockian-like suspense but never really hits the mark. There aren't enough jump-out-your-seat shocks although the final scenes are more impressive. It's not a great horror or thriller but watchable enough, especially if you're a teenager.

Reviewed on: 07 Jan 2009
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A young woman hits a man with his car – and drives off with him dying in her windscreen rather than call for help.
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Director: Stuart Gordon

Writer: John Strysik, Stuart Gordon

Starring: Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea, Russell Hornsby, Rukiya Bernard

Year: 2007

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Canada, US, UK, Germany


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