Pater familias Ray Wise is driving his squabbling family to his in-laws for Christmas. Whilethe rest of the family dozes, he takes a turn off the Interstate for a change of pace, then almostgets into an accident when he falls asleep himself. Now on an unfamiliar road, the family picksup a mysterious woman in white, and they then find themselves spiralling down into nightmare,where they are picked off one by one by supernatural forces while journeying down a road thatnever e…ds.
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of horror movies will figure out the mystery withinthe first fifteen minutes, and it must be said that the ending is thus disappointingly predictableand hackneyed, and at the same time rather muddled. But if the destination is a let-down, thejourney itself is a delight, with all kinds of spooky atmosphere and gallows humour as the familysquabbles, reveals hidden secrets, and disintegrates.
The sound is 2.0, which might be somewhat limiting, but the track makes up for this by beingvery atmospheric. The night sounds of the forest are constant and oppressive, and the sounddesign in this film is decidedly spooky. The dialogue is always clear. A crisp job overall.
The picture is fullscreen, which is unfortunate, but doesn’t ruin the viewing experience. Thecontrasts are strong, and the blacks are never bleached, which is a good thing, given that theentire movie takes place in a forest at night. One might make a case that the picture is a bit onthe murky side at times, but never in any serious way.
There is so much going for the movie, that the ending is all the more disappointing. But allthose other good things are reasons enough to give this at least a rental.