Found Footage Fave: Crowsnest (SPOILERS!)

Crowsnest is a Canadian FF movie that was released in 2012 and directed by Brendan Spencer. It follows a group of friends on a road trip who encounter some seriously bad action along the way. Yeah, yeah, I know. But stay with me.

SPOLIERS BELOW! Do not continue if you don’t want to know.

Reason for filming: Dude’s got a new camera! Let’s film everything! Let’s go on a road trip and film everything!

What’s the horror: Psycho killers

Does the dog die? No pets in this one, but some mutilated animals in some pretty gruesome close-ups shots that are easy enough to look away from if you don’t want to see.

Gore factor: It is gory in parts – as in, we see a lot of gory human/animal parts – but it’s not the main focus of the film. Where it is used, it’s mostly used effectively. And again, there’s fair warning that it’s coming, so the more squeamish (like me) can look away and avoid it if needed.

Character quality: Less than zero. Terrible people for the most part. But it’s fun to watch them die.

Re-Watch Scale: Occasional re-watch, with limitations – there’s a good chunk of this film that I skip every time, and even though I always tell myself I’ll commit to watching the whole thing. I never do.

This is a weird review for me to write, because this film is SO uneven, in my opinion – the bad stuff is really, really bad, but the good stuff is really, really entertaining and fun. Fun enough that I am willing to endure the bad stuff I can’t skip, and to skip the first 20 minutes of awful every single time. There are sections of this movie I absolutely love, and it makes up for the aspects of it that I hate, but overall it does make me wish for a better movie than this ended up being.

So yes, the setup for this movie is really typical stuff – we start out with a twentysomething dude firing up a new camera and immediately expositing how much he wants to record sex stuff with it, and trying to film females in the apartment across the street while they change clothes, etc. Then, in rapid succession, we get a lot of typical, annoying young-dude details that a lot of FF films like to throw in when using this premise, and that never fail to irritate the shit out of me – filming friends partying, trying to get a girlfriend to agree to have sex on camera, lying that the camera is turned off while they fool around in the hopes he can secretly film himself and his girlfriend having sex, getting yelled at by friends who get sick of being filmed. A very stereotypical start to a FF film that I usually hate, unless it has some good character work that makes up for it. This movie does not. I will admit here that I have NEVER watched the first 20 minutes of this film. I try, but I can’t even get past the first scene before I not only don’t care but want to rush ahead to the section where these assholes get killed.

Things don’t get much better when the camera transitions to daytime and the gang is loading up the car for a road trip. It’s more of the same; lots of people getting annoyed the dude is filming and the dude continuing to film. The conversation between the five friends (three females, two males) is grating, and no one comes off as likeable or entertaining here at all. Immediately conflict arises through the silliest plot device I’ve ever heard: there’s no beer in the cooler because the driver, Kirk, knows a place on the way to his family’s cottage where “you can get beer half-price.” I’m sorry – what? In my entire life I’ve never heard the phrase “half-price beer” uttered, and I’ve swallowed a lot of beer over the years. Who says such a thing? “Cheap beer” I’ve heard, yes, and even “dollar beer” as in “hey, Emo’s has dollar beer night on Wednesdays” (and yes, Houstonians, I just dated myself) – but “half-price”? Like you might say about buying, I don’t know, socks or hair products? It’s just so weird and not believable at all; if cost is an issue you buy some Natural Light or some other garbage beer that’s rock bottom cost and get your drink on. No one drives far out of their way in the middle of nowhere for something called “half-price beer.” And what kind of beer is half-price? All of it? One particular brand? Is this a special sale that ends at some point, or is that the focus of this country store? And is it really worth listening to your whiny buddy boy Justin rant and rail against the lack of beer for an hour and a half just to get to it? No, it is not. And yet, Kirk persists.

Once again, I skip most of the driving section (except for the ‘half price beer’ conversation, which always makes me laugh) because it’s not worth watching. It sets up nothing beyond ‘gonna go party at a cabin in the woods’ and establishes pretty stereotypical character types (party girl, girlfriend, prude girl sister of party girl, party boy boyfriend, stubborn idiot boy/jilted ex). You may be wondering why I even kept watching at this point, and that’s a good question: I saw some trailers for this movie before watching it, so I knew there was going to be a decent payoff eventually, and the trailer left enough to the imagination to keep me watching. Once the group burns out on fighting with each over exactly how lost they are and whose fault it is that they got lost (newsflash – it’s Kirk’s) they stumble across a strange, dilapidated clump of buildings surrounded by tumbleweeds and dust. It sort of looks like a rejected set from Westworld. It’s not clear if this is the infamous “half price beer” store Kirk’s been searching for, or if it is indeed a random hellscape where the gang ends up after getting themselves terribly turned around, but for what it’s worth there appears to be some sort of store that’s operating there, along with a bunch of nothing else happening in these nasty old buildings.

This is a good place to start watching, though, because we get a nice dose of creepy in the form of a very The Ring-ish little girl who jump scares into the camera frame as whoever is manning it at the moment spins around (various people will man the camera throughout the film – the reasons for doing this are never believable, but that’s the case in most FF so I’m fine with it). It’s a nice, creepy moment that heightens the tension in an already creepy scene, so I’m pleased. Of course, the camera pans away from creepy girl for a moment and then flashes back, only to find said girl has vanished. It’s another standard moment for a movie like this, but I am at least pleased no one tries to get her to take her top off or slam back seven shots in a row. I’ll take it.

By the way, when the dudes get back in the car from whatever general store they ventured into, it turns out they did, in fact, get their half-price beer, and I am sorely disappointed to see that it is not a six-pack of white cans with HALF PRICE BEER in block lettering on the side – well maybe it is, but no one holds a can up to the camera, so it’s the same as if it isn’t. What we do see is that they also got a general sense of unease and a creeped-out conversation from some weird dude inside who stared at them and offered a stern warning to “turn around now,” a warning that the girls, of course, blow off as the guys just trying to mess with them. Someone always has to get warned in setups like this, or at least get a general sense of the willies (which prude girl, whose name is Danielle, takes care of), while someone else has to insist none of it is real and that it’s all an elaborate prank. Soon, it’s gloomy and drizzling rain, and Justin mutters something about needing to “drain the lizard” (I kid you not), and the gang pulls over on the side of the road so the reptile-draining can commence.

It’s at this moment – approximately 28 minutes in – when this movie FINALLY kicks it into high gear. Danielle is being all “this is all a bad idea I have bad feelings” and her sister Amanda (aka Party Girl) is all “aw poor widdle baby are you scared why not come out into the middle of the road like me and spin in circles wheeeeeee” and then WHAM! A huge-ass beige and brown RV literally comes out of nowhere, blares its horn, and almost runs Amanda over. It’s a GREAT jump scare, and while I admittedly am easily impressed and not an expert at all about what is an effective effect and what isn’t, I am impressed by how convincing this moment is. It’s completely unexpected, and makes little sense based on the glimpses of foreboding we’ve gotten up to this point that leads us to believe something supernatural is going to happen (a group of millennials in the woods and all). It’s unclear at this point if this is just another harbinger of doom and gloom to come, or the actual cause of all the anticipated horror. After the moment slams the viewer into another dimension much as it slams Danielle into the ground and we all recover, everyone is understandably freaked out, while Kirk is understandably pissed that some RV just tried to make roadkill out of one of his friends.

Oh – speaking of roadkill, I forgot to mention that right before the group gets to Creepy Ghost Town they encounter some pretty nasty looking roadkill on the side of road, and of course Kirk and Justin get out to film it. It’s gross. It appears to be an animal that has been not only skinned, but somehow turned inside-out. If you must see it, start watching a little before the half-price ghost town scene.

And this next bit is I think why this aspect of the movie can still freak me out, because I would have done exactly what Kirk does next. He goes after the RV at full speed, demanding comeuppance for almost turning one of his friends into the human equivalent of a deflated tire. I mean, it was clearly intentional and could have been avoided. I’ve rolled this around in my mind a million times, and there’s just no way I could let someone get away with this either, so I can’t blame Kirk for getting in the car and going after the driver of that thing. Problem is, of course, that this RV is HUGE, like, even more so than the typical RV. It’s tricked out somehow, and really long, and there’s something not normal about it. But again – even if it was a weird, tricked-out, long-ass RV, I’d be hard-pressed not to follow it and do something about the fact that the driver tried to kill my friend. Plus, it’s an RV, so surely the driver is some older couple who is too senile to be on the road or something, right? I mean, something along those lines has to be the explanation. It should be easy enough to catch up to it and do – something. Who knows what one should do at that point, but again, you don’t just let some asshole try to kill your friend and then just get away. Or maybe that’s just me.

Perhaps it’s this that makes the film, at this point, a thrill rush. I can relate to what Kirk does, which makes what happens in reaction to his actions even more terrifying, because it could actually happen to me. Kirk gets everyone back into the car and takes off after the RV, chasing it down a seriously isolated, backwoods gravel country road with nothing else around. The girls, understandably, are upset and just want Kirk to stop, but Justin and Kirk are insistent that they get close enough to the truck to get the license plate number and then they will call it a day. Again – not unreasonable at all. They come around a curve in the road, spot the truck, and give chase.

So now they’re on a dirt road, it’s raining, and as they gain on the RV it suddenly slams on the brakes, sending Kirk and Co. into a slippery skid. Then it guns the gas, spins its wheels, and takes off again – surprisingly fast for a recreationary vehicle, I might add. The guys still didn’t get the license plate number, so while they sit there in the middle of the road trying to decide what they should do, the RV can be seen through their front window, some distance away, hitting its brakes again, and then – turning around. And then – charging straight at the gang’s car, gaining speed. For a moment or two, Kirk hesitates, hoping for the thing to get close enough to catch the license plate number, but then the RV blares its horn again, and the kids figure out that this thing ain’t stoppin’, and it has a heck of a lot of get-up-and-go for a twenty-ton vehicle.

A word or two about that horn – I don’t know if there is anything special about it, so perhaps it’s purely the connection to threat and death that makes it so menacing. Or maybe there’s some special sound effect that adds to the menace, I don’t know. But it works. It’s a significant sound that portends death every time we hear it, and it heightens tension every time. It’s a very deep sound, more like a foghorn on a lighthouse than one on a RV (for reference, some friends of mine had an RV growing up, and its horn played “Dixieland,” so there you go).

A great chase ensues, wherein Kirk and Co. have to skeedaddle in reverse for a while, with the cab of the RV coming ever closer and blaring its horn. Also, only one headlight is working on the thing, which – I don’t know, it’s an interesting detail that hints again how something is not quite right about this vehicle. It’s been through some things. Or more likely, it’s put other people through some things quite similar to what it’s putting our protagonists through right now. Another nice detail we see is that the car Kirk’s driving has its license plate resting on the dashboard of the car. The license plate on the RV still can’t be seen, which is unusual, and it turns out something’s not quite right with the placement of the one on Kirk’s car, either. It works to connect the two vehicles together, as if from this point forward, they can’t, or won’t, stay separated.

Kirk should be able to get away from this thing, but even after he manages to spin the car around it keeps gaining. Soon it’s ramming them from behind, blaring that deep, creepy horn, one headlight winking through the back window. This is the scene I saw in the previews, and when watching it for the first time it still wasn’t clear to me if this was the entire threat the gang would face, or if they would actually make it to the cabin and other madness would ensue. I like that it kept me guessing.

After a few more rams into the back of Kirk’s car, the RV just – disappears. Kirk thinks he’s outrun it, and is overly proud of his accomplishment. “He can’t catch us going up a hill!” he keeps shouting, which is not a very catchy victory chant, to be honest. Kirk’s pumped, but Danielle is about to puke from all the jostling of the car, and eventually the girls convince Kirk to pull over so she can get it all out. The screaming and fighting between the team here is a bit much to take, so I can’t say I blame her; there’s going to be a lot of that as the show goes on. Screaming, not puking. But there’s more of that to come, too. Finally Kirk is shouted into pulling over, at which point he confirms his total douchiness by whining about scratches and dents on his parent’s car while Danielle loses her lunch on the other side of the road (I hate movie puke, by the way, so rest assured you don’t see it here). The contrast between the sensitivity the girls can be seen showing to each other in the background of the shot and the way Justin and Kirk act like macho dicks in the foreground is a nice juxtaposition that actually does provide us a little twinge or two of sympathy for the women. Especially with what comes next.

They pile back in after some more asshattery from Kirk, and things seem to be calming down – but soon Danielle needs to puke again, so Kirk pulls over and she rushes out, leaning down and getting sick right against the side of car this time (you still don’t see it) . Kirk starts bitching about her getting puke on her car, and the girls try to act concerned while also giggling about the whole thing – an understandable release of adrenaline and tension. Then WHAM! With a blast of the horn the RV slashes past, completely flattening Danielle as she is puking on the side of the road. We hear the crunch of her bones as blood splatters up across the side windows of the car. And just like that, it goes quiet, leaving the rest of the gang, and the audience, in shock. Did that really just happen? Is that Danielle’s blood on the windows? Is she dead? Holy shit!

Well, Danielle is not dead, and she also is surprisingly intact given the situation, but whatever. I’m going to assume this low-budget production just didn’t have the capacity to make her look actually maimed so they went with internal injuries in spite of the external blood that sploshed all over the car. A minor quibble. They drag Danielle back into the car and hurry on up the road, more shouting ensuing over what they should do – keep driving to find a hospital, or pull over and try to find a location where they can get cell service to call an ambulance (oh yeah, as is the case in just about any FF movie, no one has cell service now that they need it). In the end, it doesn’t matter. Danielle crosses over pretty soon, and now we know what the real threat is gonna be in this movie. It’s that creepy-ass RV, and whoever – or whatever – is its driver. We have no idea who is behind this, because along with the lack of license plates, the unbelievable speed, and the extended-cab length of that spooky thing, are some seriously tinted windows that render visibility into it impossible. Who knows who’s behind that wheel. It could be anything. And it’s clear now that it’s stalking them.

I really found this to be a neat twist on the friends-in-the-woods found footage sub-genre. No witches or paranormal activity. Just brief, quick hits from some psychos in a massive van. It takes the term road trip to a different level – not a higher level, necessarily, but at least a different one – and I like it.

Eventually they decide to pull over and see if they can walk to higher elevation via some roadside hills and get their cell phones to work – as usual, not everyone is in agreement with this plan and everyone’s shouting and cursing it all out, but once again I actually am in agreement with Kirk’s choice, which rather disturbs me since he’s such a dick. But they’re in real trouble, one of them is now dead, and it’s obvious that driving around is not optimal, as it’s what has gotten them to this place to begin with. So trying to find cell service seems logical. But Amanda refuses to leave her dead sister alone in the car, and after screaming at her shockingly doesn’t work, the rest of the group leave her there while they wander off into the woods and hike up high to try using their phones.

I’m sure you can guess what happens next – no cell service can be found, and soon enough we hear that RV horn again, the screech of tires, and Amanda’s screams. Weirdly, the gang is shocked when they run back to the car and find both the living and the dead body gone, which shouldn’t be a shock at all given what they heard. But shocked they are, and now they’re completely panicked. I guess I should mention that somewhere in the midst of all this a fight breaks out among Brooke (the girlfriend of Justin), Justin, and Kirk that ends up revealing how Brooke and Kirk used to sleep together or something, which upsets Justin and leads to him stalking off heartbroken with the camera, but honestly who cares. There’s absolutely nothing that’s been established that would lead the audience to care about any of this, and it comes across as merely a device to separate the three. Since Kirk is the protagonist who owns the car, and Brooke is obviously his One That Got Away, it’s pretty clear who’s going to get the horn next, and at the moment, he’s all alone in the woods, and he’s got the camera.

The whole boy/girl/ex-boy conflict isn’t the only old trope the movie trots out at this point. While more wandering around the forest ensues, we get the first of what will be three – yes THREE – Blair-Witch style camera confessions. Two come from Justin and one comes from Kirk towards the end of the film, and I hate every single one of them. Both Justin and Kirk film themselves summarizing what has happened up to this point, in case the cops find the camera after they’ve died, and honestly – do we need TWO scenes of characters explaining to the camera all the action we’ve already seen? No, we do not. We do not even need one, much less two of these, and I also don’t need to see either one of these dudes tell their loved ones goodbye. But, there’s enough other good stuff happening now that I sit through it, so I don’t miss anything. And what I don’t want to miss is how the movie ups the stakes some point soon after Justin cries into the camera. Because we’re about to find out just what’s up with that goddamn motor vehicle, and it’s pretty badass.

Justin stumbles about alone until he crawls into a clearing and sees the RV sitting there, right the fuck in front of him. It’s pretty jarring, and Justin seems extremely exposed. He manages to hunker down behind some brush, and I tell you I’ve never in my life had an RV infuse me with fear, but this thing is damn menace. It’s freaky and seems to have a mind of its own. It’s a monster, is what it is, and I fully believe in it as an evil force at this point. I don’t even know if there is a driver inside of it. It has a creepy life all its own.

The RV is still and quiet and appears to be empty, so Justin, in a moment of what I can only assume is complete insanity, decides to approach it and try to get the license plate captured on camera (yes, this is the point at which all of my own instincts to defend my friends would have escaped me, replaced with self-preservation and an I’m sure they’re already dead level of selfishness. No more heroics for me). The closer he gets, the higher the tension, as his camera focuses on the side door of the camper, where we all expect something to burst forth at any moment. Nothing does, but there is blood visible on the underside of the door, and Justin follows a path of more blood to the back of the car, where the lack of license plate is confirmed. Where it should be is nothing but duct tape – a nice touch that gives us some quick insight to what is going on inside. Whatever is doing this is human, is very real, and has an intentional plan here that he or she intends to execute with whatever scant resources at their disposal. We can picture the sort of person who slathers duct tape over their license plates before heading out to commit murder, and it ain’t pretty. It’s someone who plans – but not too much or too carefully. Someone not afraid to get messy.

We’re about to get more information about just who that person, or who those people, are, because soon enough Justin hears footsteps approaching, as he’s hanging around in back of the RV like a spare tire. Under the vehicle he goes, continuing to film so we can see two sets of very human legs walk up to the car – clad in baggy pants and wearing heavy hiking boots. Something about just this glimpse of them fills the audience with dread: Oh shit, we think. Hicks.

It shouldn’t be a surprise given the backwoods location, but it kind of is. Two heavy-set figures who are clearly men are the ones who own and drive this beast. Who’ve already killed one friend and possibly a second by now. They stand close as if in discussion for a moment, then stomp off in different directions, with gaits that seem slightly bow-legged and heavy. We see more of one than the other as he walks away; he’s wearing baggy jeans and a dark plaid flannel, and he walks like he spends a lot of time stomping through muck. What the fuck. Why are they doing what they’re doing? What’s the end game here? It’s puzzling and unclear. It’s weird, and more than a little unsatisfying. They don’t have pointed tails poking out of their jeans, or cloven feet. What exactly is going on?

Once they’re gone, Justin crawls out from under the RV and decides to take a peek inside. The interior of the RV is completely dark, so the old gotta use my night vision camera canard comes into play. What we see via green light is pretty nasty: plastic-lined floors, buckets of bones and blood, knives and saws, and wait – is that a human foot? I think that’s a foot. It goes by pretty quickly, but we get the point. These dudes don’t just drive around generating roadkill. They do things with it. Bloody things. Ew.

The camera pans up to a human leg with a sawed-off foot we can only assume is the one we just panned by on the RV floor. It sounds awful but to be honest, it isn’t that bad. Again, I doubt these guys had the budget for real gore, so it’s serviceable at best. But we get the point, and I for one can have my imagination fill in the rest. Yep – we’re in Texas Chainsaw territory. Justin pans up, and it turns out the leg is attached to a body, and the body – is Amanda! She’s covered in blood and unconscious, but Justin’s proximity wakes her up. I have to say, as much as I didn’t like any of these characters up to this point in the film, both Justin and Amanda do a good job of being terrified and desperate in this scene. Amanda in particular sounds appropriately out of her mind with fright. She can’t see in the dark so she doesn’t know who it is that’s entered the camper, and it takes a while for Justin to calm her down enough to identify himself. He tries to keep her quiet, but she’s way past that by now and can’t control herself. It’s clear her cries are going to draw the murderers back to the RV at some point, and the tension here is real. She’s tied down, and Justin can’t untie the knots to get her out. Her panicked, desperate tears are very effective here; she knows there’s no way out, and she is terrified.

Then the movie ups the stakes a bit more. Justin hears something in the back of the RV and sneaks off to investigate. He pulls back a curtain to reveal – Ring-Girl from Creepy Westworld! Who the girls saw for a brief moment back in Half-Price Beer land! That’s right, she calls these insane car stalkers daddy, apparently, and they reward her by feeding her body parts. At the moment, she’s chowing down on what appears to be one of Danielle’s hands. When the kid sees Justin – and in the green light she looks downright demonic – she freaks out and goes in for the kill, scratching at him and screaming while Justin tries to keep things quiet so as not to alert the murderers. He ends up killing her, which gets Amanda, who still can’t see, started up again. Justin’s instincts kick in, and he now knows there’s nothing he can do – he can stay with Amanda and face the same fate when the hicks return, or he can bail out now and save his own ass, knowing Amanda is a lost cause anyway. It’s a pretty harrowing moment, as Amanda knows better than to believe Justin’s promises to return – the terror, shock, and outrage in her screams as he leaves is haunting, so once again – well-done here, Party Girl. And also, so long – we barely knew you.

From that point on, it’s a matter of time before Justin becomes the cannibals’ next meal. Sure enough, the screaming has brought them back, and they follow Justin into the nearby forest. There’s a great shot of one of the men as he walks right past Justin, who is crouched behind a tree – he’s wearing a face mask, and it’s significant that not once do we see either killer’s face throughout the whole movie. It ties them more closely to the ubiquitous RV they command; all three hulking, faceless, and utterly evil.

Masked killer leaves the perimeter, but it doesn’t matter – killer number two has spotted Justin, and as he grabs him by the feet and drags him away, mask-faced killer picks up the camera – of course – and films a tasty little close-up of number two slicing through Justin’s throat and lopping off his head. But again, it’s actually not all that awful, unless sound effects get you gagging.

So now we know everything, all mysteries have been resolved, and all that’s left is to finish off Kirk and Brooke, his ex. The fact that they clearly still love each other is evident in these last scenes, but to be honest I don’t care. They’re still annoying and I have no investment in either one of them. But we get a few more great scares as they stumble around in a desperate attempt to escape their fate. After finding Justin’s camera and doing something not enough protagonists do in these films – which is to playback the footage that’s been taken, thank you very much – they too understand what’s happened, and they are understandably beside themselves. Their friends are dead, and they’re lost in the forest with the killers still out there. More stumbling around ensues, until they make it to a road – a road! – which gets their hopes up at first, until the goddamn RV comes rumbling up and stops to deposit something off to the side. Brooke wants to move on, but of course Kirk has to go up and see what it is they left behind, and of course he has to take his camera with him, and it’s pretty clear that Justin got the same skinned and turned inside-out treatment that roadkill got that they spotted back in the film’s beginning, and it’s pretty gross. The ex barfs too, and we see it this time, so yeah for me this is an averting-of-the-eyes scene. It’s also clear, at least to me, that the RV killers knew Kirk and Brooke were nearby, and dumped Justin’s remains on the side of the road as a warning.

More wandering and weeping commences, and just when that starts to get old we get another great scare. The RV makes another appearance, stopping directly in front of where Brooke and Kirk are hiding behind some trees. After several tense seconds of hearing Kirk whisper, “they don’t know we’re here…they don’t know we’re here…” the RV door opens, two beer guts rush out (but again, we do not see their faces) and they tear off after them so fast Brooke and Kirk barely have time to register what’s happening. It’s pretty impressive as a jump scare, as the RV door opens fairly slowly in comparison to how quickly the two fly out. And at this point there’s no denying that somehow they know where Kirk and Brooke are, as much as Kirk may have stated otherwise.

There’s a pretty big scuffle, but the two manage to break free, only to discover that in the tussle one of the killers actually severed Kirk’s hand so badly that it eventually just – slides off. It’s pretty nasty, but a nice touch. To me, the best part is how Kirk reacts to losing his hand almost exactly like he did in the beginning, when he sees how much damage the RV did to the back of his parent’s car. It’s as if his hand and the car’s blinker light are interchangeable and deserving of the same level of rage. I guess the loss of the hand does make it impossible for him to use hand signals to indicate which way he’s going to turn until he gets his taillight replaced, so fair point, Kirk.

They find the car. They try to start it, but the engine won’t turn. They cry. They admit they love each other (I think, I don’t remember much about this part because I don’t care, but I assume this is what they do). Kirk is losing hope, Brooke tells him to buck up. We see the RV pull into the road far behind them. The car still doesn’t start. The two aren’t aware the RV is approaching. To be fair, Kirk is going on about how jealous he was of Justin and how much he wanted to kill him for dating Brooke or something like that, so I can’t blame anything that pulls up behind them for wanting to give ’em a good slam, because seriously shut up, Kirk. You and your half-assed half-priced beer are the worst. The RV crashes into them, which sends them careening down a hill or something, which doesn’t matter because we get camera static and then we see Brooke driving on an actual road and who knows how all that went down. But Kirk, with his one good hand I guess, grabs the camera and flips it around to reveal that the RV has also skidded off the road behind them and appears to be stuck, and whatever miracle occurred to turn the tables on them has Kirk getting all cocky again like in his “they can’t beat me up a hill!” days, which everyone should take as a bad sign.

For some reason Brooke eventually stops the car, which immediately dies and won’t start again. No worries, because now she has cell service and can use her phone – she calls 9-1-1 and stirs Kirk out of his near-death-due-to-blood-loss stupor long enough to grab the camera so he can zoom in on a distant road sign, so they can communicate their location to the police. Route 48. They’re on Route 48! A location! Yaaaaaaay!

Except no, because just as Kirk swings the camera around to film the unbridled joy on Brooke’s beautiful face, well, the RV’s right there, and with one last blast of its horn, it smashes Kirk, his one good hand, and his beloved ex into oblivion. The end. It’s a nice little last blast of surprise, and I like it.

As I said at the beginning, I really wish the entirety of this movie was as good as the RV scenes. As it is, though, it’s a really erratic watch – scenes of utter annoyance and boredom running up against some fun and thrilling killer car and cannibal backwoods bastards moments. It’s easy to get a bit of movie whiplash from the whole thing, with the unevenness of the tone and the way attention to the stupid camera bogs things down from time to time. Especially in the confessional scenes that bring everything to a crawl right when tension should be at its highest. And to be honest, all of these characters are god-awful. Danielle is some weird sort of teenage Emo social ignoramus, and it’s unclear why the obviously going for ho party girl Amanda brings this Eeyore of a sister along, except to foreshadow doom and gloom. Kirk is literally the worst – just unappealing, pushy, rude, and all kinds of selfish. His admissions of love for Brooke in that final scene make me want to slap him with own severed hand. Shut up, Kirk. Brooke and Justin are just kind of there, really – neither offensive nor interesting, except for Justin’s annoying insistence on keeping the cam running, so I guess they made a nice couple? Who knows and who cares. The only thing that matters in the end is whether or not they cooked up nice and tender for Ring-Girl and her two daddies, so there you go. Crowsnest. Check it out.