Film Review: 'Scooter' combo of road film, horror

The film 'Scooter', which is due out in September, tries to combine a number of genres together.

Producer and director Matt Wohl use a combination of found footage and "mock-umentary" in its narrative structure. His script combines elements of horror, regional paranoia and the road trip film.

The first part of the film charts the journey of three thrill-seekers that are planning a trip on 50 cc scooters from Miami to New Orleans to gather source material for their YouTube channel. A large part of the film combines frat boy comedy with a character study -- if it wasn't for story cards in the first act, the switch from straight drama to horror/suspense would be wholly unexpected and as executed is still sudden.

The film falters slightly by having its characters behave too stupidly in the face of a crisis and wearing its intentions on its sleeve by making the villain a racist. The film's boogeyman, a stranger spotted killing a woman in the woods, is functional but politically loaded and manipulative -- there is a predictable twist this review won't reveal.

The film also takes a Hitchcock-ian turn by making the innocent residents surrounding the events a potential source of menace. The film admirably avoids "torture porn" in favor of suspense.

'Scooter' is derivative at times but competently made, well-acted and recommended for viewers more in the mood for a thriller than a pure horror film.

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