A young couple decides to runaway to sunny California. They never reach their destination as they decide to pull over at the Rest Stop.
After a fight with her boyfriend, Nicole Carrow insists on pulling in to a rest stop. When she is ready to leave, she exits the bathroom to find her boyfriend has disappeared with their car, leaving her trapped on the back roads of Texas with only an abandoned camper van to keep her company.
Rest Stop is one of those cheap and tacky horror movies that could become a cult classic. Will Rest Stop become a cult classic you may ask? Well the three elements that you need to become a cult classic are gore, sex and artistic merit. Rest stop has bucket loads of gore, and while I do not want to give too much away, it contains oodles of blood-soaked nastiness. This movie has everything from the bad guy running over a cop's legs with his car several times to him making use of a pneumatic drill on a girl's leg. At times, it can be about as bloody as a film can get. It also has a gratuitous and yet somehow quite intimate love scene in the opening minutes of the film. Therefore, the sex is covered. Now the hard one - does it have any artistic merit?
You never get to see the bad guy's face - you see glimpses, profiles, shadowy silhouettes. He is a faceless, relentless, monster, which alone scores highly on the artistic merit scale. The movie has very few characters in it apart from the main protagonist - Nicole Carrow (Jaimie Alexander). Since she spends a large part of the film on her own, she cannot reveal her thoughts in the course of a conversation, but must speak them aloud so that we, the audience, know what she is thinking. At times, this can be slightly irritating; however, it is a brave step by the writer (John Shiban) and it does work for the majority of the film. As an audience knows, being completely alone and isolated from civilization is frightening enough even when you are not being chased by psychotic killers.
So, will Rest Stop become a cult classic? It probably will because along the gore, sex and arguable artistic merit, it also has plenty of chills, an interesting and inventive plot and gives rise to a lot of shouting at the screen as the main character does plenty of things you should definitely not do when running from a psychotic killer. (What fun are horror movies if you cannot complain about the stupidity of the victims?)