Wreckage (2011)

Wreckage is horror at it’s worst; lazy, confused, boring, stupid and brimming with clichés. Some of the acting is decent, but otherwise Wreckage is a car-crash of a movie and it’s an absolute write-off.

It begins with two starts – for some insane reason – one featuring a bespectacled child executing his mum and her boyfriend, then a second where a rapist is cock-blocked to death by an unseen assailant in a driveway. If both these starts weren’t frustrating enough, they’re followed by the dullest credit sequence ever committed to film, and it will seriously test your patience.

Anyway, terrible starts aside, we now meet our protagonists; kind but reckless guy, his fiancée (who he proposes to in his fucking garage), her pregnant friend and preggers’ absolute sociopath of a boyfriend. After a pointless drag race the quad find themselves stranded on a deserted road with a busted car and no transportation home.

Like proper idiots, they decide the best idea is to visit the massive and scary wrecking yard a mile down the road and purchase a defibrillator convergence cap (or whatever – some car part). Of course, no one’s home, so the disrespectful bastards clamber over the gate and look for a part to “acquire”. Then – whoops! – in a moment of stupidity, our sociopath moron accidentally shoots just-been-proposed-to-in-a-fucking-garage fiancée lady.

So where do the two random beginnings come into all this? Well, the kind but reckless guy runs off to get the local cops, leaving his bleeding fiancée alone with an apologetic sociopath and a pregnant girl, and when he returns with the coppers they’ve disappeared! Oh no! But where?! Gradually the cops, two deeply unrealistic paramedic women and our kind but reckless guy realize someone else is in the wrecking yard… and he’s very very angry.

Wreckage is a mess. It is fundamentally flawed on a significant numbers of levels – from structure and screenplay to character and camerawork – and it makes for a frustrating, confusing watch.

Continuity errors drive me insane. I’m not talking about the “cup changes hands between shots” kind of continuity – I don’t even notice that – but more the major flaws, like Nic Cage’s moving eye-wound in Drive Angry and Kris Tearse’s magical blood-shifting shirt in Zombie Undead. Wreckage probably has the WORST continuity fail in the history of continuity fails. What is it? Read on…

As mentioned earlier, our kind but reckless guy has a drag race down a country road against some random douchebag in a sports car – they’re mano-a-mano, one man per car, all to race for – and then kind but reckless has a tragic vehicle malfunction. Both cars stop to survey the damage. Then – magically – THREE other people appear!! Apparently from kind but reckless guy’s car! If you rewind the film, you can clearly see he is alone in his car for the entire race! Where did they come from? The forest? Was he storing them in his boot? It’s hilarious and pathetically inept… and tragically not the only hideous continuity fail.

Okay, prepare for another rant: the four cretins are stranded on a road, car broken. It’s daylight and they decide to walk one mile to the wrecking yard. When they get there it’s PITCH BLACK! Suddenly it’s the middle of the night! This suggests they took many hours to walk one mile up the road! THEN – and this is hilarious part – once fiancée woman is shot, kind-but-reckless guy runs to the local police station in town! He just runs there! Why didn’t he run somewhere before and get a spare part for his car?! Grrrrrrr… Wreckage is infuriatingly dumb.

Some reviews are constructive, some reviews are ingratiating, some are shoulder-shruggingly care-free and some – like this one – reads like one long scream of frustration. But is it all bad? Wreckage has a few redeemable features, but I will take a breath and reveal them now…

Roger Perry as Sheriff Macabee is very good, and gives an endearing performance throughout. The pace – after the random double-prologue and piss-poor opening titles – rockets along nicely enough and none of the acting can be classed as abysmal, just mostly uninspired. Frustratingly, it feels like Wreckage was supposed to be blackly comic and the cast and director didn’t realise it… apart from Scoot McNairy (Monsters), who plays his role almost entirely for laughs! Tonally buggered, this could’ve been so much more.

Wreckage is a motorway pile-up of a film where no one survives. Despite a reasonable pace and some decent acting, it is appallingly crafted throughout. Atrocious plot, atrocious script, atrocious direction – Wreckage is atrocious. Avoid.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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