One would think that a junkyard would be the perfect setting for a horror movie. It’s dark, dangerous, and usually secluded enough for a murderer to get away with their mischief. Unfortunately, the horror film, Wreckage, failed to use the creepy setting to it’s potential, resulting in a poorly told tale filled with overacting and lack of development.
The 2010 horror,Wreckage, directed by John Mallory Asher (whom also appears in the film), stars Mike Irwin, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), and Cameron Richardson (Harper’s Island) as a group of friends whom endure a terrorizing experience while looking for car parts at a nearby junkyard. The film struggles with finding its identity from the very beginning and never fully develops as it progresses.
Wreckage opens with army veteran, Jared (Irwin), whom is working on his car with his beautiful girlfriend Kate (Richardson) by his side. Within seconds of the film’s start Jared proposes to Kate, and their friends, Rick (Paul) and Jessica, arrive for a daytime adventure on the road. The film awkwardly jumps to Jared drag racing–alone–on a desolate highway, followed by his friends miraculous appearance out of thin-air once the race ends. The racing shenanigans causes something to break in Jared’s car (I’m a girl, like I know or care about cars and their parts) and the group make their way to the film’s ultimate setting, the junkyard.
While at the junkyard, things quickly go awry and the horror begins for the friends, whom don’t seem to know each other as well as they initially thought. For whatever reason, Rick pulls out a gun and begins to shoot it off for fun, accidentally wounding Kate. A concerned Jared leaves the friends at the car yard to run for help, finding it at the local sheriff’s station. Upon return to the scene, Jared’s friends are nowhere to be found and the police begin wondering if he was making the scenario up.
The horror moves quickly as the murderer takes out his reign on the group of victims, which increases to local law enforcement and EMT’s. In most cases, a horror film that gets to the point is desired; however, in Wreckage, the film moves so speedily that the audience is never given a chance to understand who the characters are or given the time to absorb the situation occurring on the screen.
The plot is never built up and there is absolutely no development in the characters. All the audience is given about our protagonist is that he served in the armed forces and that storyline has become cliche and drawn-out. To add to the overdone character arcs, the one-dimensional Frank–the owner of the junkyard–appears to be the comic relief of the movie; however; the actor’s performance makes the character come off as a caricature of something he and the director had seen in past horror movies.
In regard to performances, the actors on screen were severely overdoing almost all of their lines, especially Roger Perry, whom played the Sheriff. Erwin’s portrayal of Jared was too much and unrealistic in the situation, making the film hard to watch. The only individuals who did not have cringe-worthy performances were both Richardson and Paul, whom were barely on screen throughout the film’s entirety.
The entire film was a mess and it seemed like the director and writer weren’t sure what they wanted to do with it. At times the film felt like it was trying to be an intense horror with serious scenarios while on the other hand, the film would throw in bits of humor as though it were trying to be a campy horror. There was not a good enough balance where the film was able to walk the fine line between serious horror and campy fun, which resulted in a movie that didn’t know its identity.
The director, Asher, is also an actor whom appeared in the Weird Science television series and although it looks like he has directed a few projects in the past, it does not look like he has developed a strong sense of how to make a successful horror film–or any film, for that matter. In fact, Wreckage seemed like a longer version of a horrible One Tree Hill episode and upon speculation, I discovered that he directed some of the television series as well. Go figure!
Wreckage had an okay idea but failed to be creative and failed to develop an actual plot. A movie with a bunch of people running around for 90 minutes, screaming and being killed, doesn’t automatically make it a horror movie. Characters need to be developed for the audience to care for them and want to watch what will become of them. There needs to be reasons behind characters actions as well, otherwise, the entire film will be pointless.
I was immediately attracted to this film when I discovered that it “starred” Cameron Richardson and Aaron Paul but not even they could make me like the film–because they were hardly in it! There are no redeeming qualities about this movie; it’s not even the type of bad that you can watch just for a laugh (i.e. Birdemic). Don’t watch Wreckage, unless you need an example of how NOT to make a movie.