#267 -- Rest Stop: Don't Look Back (2008)

Rating: 3 / 5
Director: Shawn Papazian

This is the sequel to Rest Stop: Dead Ahead, a movie that I really enjoyed. In it, people were taken to a bus to be tortured by a crazed man in an old yellow truck. This one is basically the same, with a few differences. Don't Look Back explained some things and answered some questions that the first left unanswered, but it still somehow managed to be less enjoyable.

In the first, we knew practically nothing about The Driver, or the crazed family in the winnebago. This one explained all of that, right at the beginning. The Driver had car trouble and was picked up by the crazy family. The wife, apparently, was very sexually frustrated and ended up sleeping with The Driver. When the husband caught them, she screamed rape, so the husband beat him within an inch of his life. They then tied him up and began to torture him, claiming that he was a sinner and that he needed to be cleansed. They cut his hand off, cut his eyes out and buried him in a field. Later, though, he returned to have his revenge, and he killed the entire family.

When I saw the first one, I thought that The Driver was just a crazy person, but completely human. It turns out, though, there's some pretty supernatural stuff going on. The Driver was a ghost, as were the people in the winnebago. We learn later on about some legend that says if a person is buried without their eyes, then their soul will roam the earth in pain and suffering. The only way to lay the spirit to rest is to find and burn the eyes, and the smoke will rise to the heavens. Things like this, though, are only theories, as they can only be proved once they are done successfully. So there's really no way for us to tell if it will work.

The movie focuses on Tommy, Marilyn, and Jared. You might remember Jesse, the young guy from the first movie. Well, Tommy is his brother. Tommy had just returned home from some war, and the first thing he wanted to do was go to California to find Jesse and Nicole. He brought along his hot girlfriend and his dorky friend to help. Since Tommy was in the military, I figured that he'd be pretty bad-ass, and that The Driver would have a real fight on his hands. Unfortunately, Tommy was the first to be abducted an taken to the bus; so that left the hot, drunk girl and the nerd. Tommy was able to escape the bus, but not before having nails driven into his kneecaps.

There are ghosts all over the place in this one, making it hard to distinguish what's real and what's not. Oh, they found them! Oh, no they didn't. Well, maybe just one of them. Oh, wait...Oh, he's dead, no he's not, yes he is, no he's not...I really didn't know what to think throughout the whole thing. There was also a ghost bathroom. When Marilyn first went into the bathroom at the rest stop, it was remodeled, clean, and nice. Then she saw Nicole's ghost, freaked out left, and went back in to find the old messed up bathroom from the first movie. Oh, and Jared (who was in love with Nicole) saw Nicole after The Driver rammed into the porta-potty  he was shitting in--covering him with buckets of feces--fixed her up and proceeded to give her some lovin'. She was just a ghost, though, so...Yeah, that's kind of gross. And very, very sad for Jared.

So, once the creepy gas station guy told them the legend about the eyeballs, they started to look for them so they could destroy them. The old winnebago was in a junk yard, empty. Jared saw the family's disfigured child who told him (in his own way) that his twin brothers had the eyes. So they blew up the winnebago, thinking that would do the trick. But did it?

The only good part...
I kind of liked that this one explained everything about The Driver and the creepy family, but at the same time, I don't. I liked that he was a faceless killer that we knew nothing about. It made him scarier. I like knowing their back-stories too, but his really made no sense. He was murdered, so he decided to murder people who were just like him? I'm not really sure what the point of that was. And all the ghost stuff was cool to begin with, but then it just got confusing. Like I said, I didn't know what to believe most of the time. The characters really weren't that great, which was disappointing since I loved the characters from the first one. There was a lot of action in the first one, with lots of blood and fire and what-not. There really wasn't much going on in this one. Tommy was abducted; he got nails in his knees, and then he escaped. Jared had one of his eyeballs removed, and Marilyn got her legs drilled. Other than that, there's really nothing in the way of gore or torture. That was also disappointing, since the first had some truly disturbing scenes.

Overall, Don't Look Back wasn't quite as good as Dead Ahead. It's not horrible, but it definitely pales in comparison to its predecessor. Blame it on dull characters, lack of gore and action, and a silly back-story.

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