A Gas Station takes centre stage in this enjoyable slash and stalk horror that will entertain many horror fans, thirsty for a bit of murderous bloodshed!…
One of the most memorable stories in John Carpenter’s and Tobe Hooper’s 90’s horror anthology film Body Bags was the first chapter “The Gas Station” which we saw a young woman working a night shift and getting terrorised by a serial killer.
Its Halloween references and the fact it was set near Haddonfield as made it a fun little entry for slasher fans and as Open 24 Hours takes the same template and turns it into a full horror feature, then no doubt this decent horror flick will have a wave of fans, curious to see how they have played this.
To be fair, its hard to find any criticism of this slasher that has enough blood and gore to appease the fan-base, even though it does lose its edginess towards the halfway mark.
Mary (Vanessa Grasse) a troubled young woman who has just been released from prison after setting fire to her Ex Boyfriend who she realised was a brutal serial killer, tries to move on with her life and gets a night time job at a Gas Station.
Her back story offers up a different final girl to what we used too and its her trauma that gives Open 24 Hours a very strong opening half, full of intriguing possibilities.
Suffering from severe PTSD and experiencing traumatic hallucinations in which she sees young women getting brutally murdered by her EX, Mary struggles to grasp at times what is reality and fantasy, even more so when she starts to get strange phone calls and at times sees a hooded figure in the distance.
Grasse carries the film through its opening build up, in which her feelings of guilt and everything that has happened, really brings the added weight needed for the viewer to be by her side when the horror starts.
The destination itself is also perfect for a horror flick. A night shift in a Gas Station in which anyone can walk through the doors is ripe for terror and what makes the opening half so compelling is that we are unsure of where the story is heading.
Is what Mary seeing all in her head? Are the killings real? Is she herself a killer and is unaware of her actions or as her psycho ex somehow escaped from prison and has now tracked her down for a final bit of revenge?
Sadly when its all revealed, the film loses its spark and the third act becomes nothing more than a routine slasher flick, which in its defence, will tick all the boxes for slash fans, but one reveal too many, means the film gets kind of silly as we reach the finale, with certain characters having to do dumb things to move the plot along.
Many will ignore the plot creaking into silliness as soon as the blood starts to spill and a horrendous bludgeoning kill scene will delight the many watching gore hounds who will no doubt lavish the praise on such a startling set-piece.
Director Padraig Reynolds has offered up a pretty decent slasher that should find an audience who are starved with the lack of box office horror and while it really doesn’t offer anything new to the genre, with a likeable lead and some gruesome kills. Open 24 Hours is a perfect weekend rental for those who like their scares cheap.