When a team of investigators stumble on a scene of unspeakable carnage in a remote locale outside Las Vegas, they must piece together what happened from a recovered digital camera and a few camera phones. The former was being operated by a wannabe documentarian capturing the professional and personal life of a fledgling starlet; the camera phones belonged to her fellow victims of the killer who stalked and tortured the bus passengers after their Vegas-bound vehicle broke down in a ruined community. Most of the film is told via the recorded footage the investigators stitch together for clues, but long before the cops realize something’s fishy with the evidence, viewers will likely ask how people fighting for their lives had the presence of mind to keep the cameras rolling, and at such artsy angles. Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi from a screenplay by John Swetnam, the film isn’t as smart as it thinks it is, and its characters are painfully generic. Stephen Moyer’s grizzled cop—haunted by his past, of course—is the genius, while the impetuous unit leader is played by Radha Mitchell with clenched jaws and lots of machisma. While men and women are slaughtered by the killer, the women—in a classic horror film trope—suffer especially gruesome deaths, and the twist at the end is more groan-inducing than clever.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 17, 2013