Scenic Route (2013)
As one of those random Netflix watches, Scenic Route turned out to be pretty badass. It stars Josh Duhamel (whom I kinda like, so that's probably why I watched it in the first place) and Dan Fogler as two friends who get stranded together on an isolated desert road. Of course, the heat and stress and lack of hydration causes all kinds of drama between the two as they attack each other (sometimes literally) for how they've chosen to live their lives. Duhamel and Fogler act well, and act well together, so these scenes were completely believable and interesting, despite being a bit predictable and cliché. Also a bit annoying was when the characters just miss being rescued - like four or five times. It got really ridiculous at one point but I guess there wouldn't be much of a plot if they got rescued too early. What most impressed me about the plot was the ending they chose. I loved the way the truth was revealed to the audience, and that they didn't sell out and gave us a realistic ending. I'm biased about these types of small cast, one location films but Scenic Route is truly a good one that moves fast and keeps things interesting even when there's not really much going on. Also, desert settings are freaking beautiful and I love them.
The Other (1972)
I really wanted to be so shocked and surprised by The Other because I heard that it was a thriller with a great twist ending. I just wish I hadn't figured out what that twist was 10 minutes into the movie! Seriously, though, they make it WAY too obvious if you're even paying a little bit of attention! That's not to say that The Other isn't a very interesting and engaging film. The twins Niles and Holland are great little actors and there are lots of little mysteries to figure out with the plot as you go along with it - the kidnapped baby, the boys' father's ring, etc. I wasn't so sure what to think about "the game" that Niles plays with his grandmother, though. She has basically taught him how to astral project himself so that he can see what is going on in places where he is not. Perhaps grandmother Ada feels that because she taught Niles the game, she has contributed to what is revealed at the end - maybe there is such a thing as too much imagination. Very cool little movie, I'm glad I saw it.
The Tortured (2010)
This was a movie that ended up being somewhat similar to The Other in that it had a big "twist" ending that was also way too easy to figure out. The Tortured is about a young couple whose only son is kidnapped from their front yard and murdered by a sadistic serial killer. He is caught and brought to justice, but the only kind of justice the parents want to see is the man killed, so they kidnap him from police custody, and take him to a vacant house for a little torture. What really got me about this movie was how badly they messed up the surprise ending, and I just have to mention why so that's your spoiler alert. The killer is played by Bill Moseley - an actor that is very well-known by those of us in the horror world. I would say that one thing he is known for is his distinctive voice. The man that the couple kidnaps has a pretty messed up face caused by the car accident that allowed them to capture him, but he can still talk. And it's definitely not Bill Moseley's voice. So again, the big shock moment that they have been torturing the wrong guy was ruined, but frankly, the whole movie wasn't really that original or interesting to begin with. You're not missing anything here.