Reviewed on 2010 February 23
This based on a true story of a crew of Matamoros, Mexico-based drug smugglers that used black magic, including human sacrifices, to get an occult seal of approval on their drug deals. The real story is horrifying, which is why I admit I may be unfairly tough on this movie: This should have given me nightmares, or at least riveted me, and instead I felt it plodded. I was fidgeting for it to end.
The movie starts out promisingly creepy, with a couple of police raiding a dark, spooky house in Mexico. The house appears to be empty, save for some voodoo-looking stuff, and this was the scariest part of the movie. After the intro we’re deposited back north of the border, where a group of U.S. college kids want to party TJ style. Ed (Brian Presley) and Henry (Jake Muxworthy) are fixated on getting their buddy Phil (Rider Strong) a week of Mexican hookers, booze, and any pharmacopeia they can procure. One night one of the guys wanders away from the rest of the group and doesn’t come back. This leaves his panicked friends with the job of trying to find him in a foreign town, where the local police are either not interested in a dumb gringo party animal, or are just fearful of risking their own necks.
Despite the fact that one of the cult scumbags looks like a throwback from ’70s horror, this is more in the vein of the remake of The Hills Have Eyes. Given the subject matter I expected this to be gory, but this was just gross in parts, punctuated with long dull stretches. There were two yee-haw-we’re-on-spring-break montages in the first half hour, and that could have been better served fleshing out this cult. What would you rather see in a horror movie? Frat boys pounding cervezas, or some oversized goons with machine guns, performing a black mass as they’re cutting cocaine?
One chocolate morsel. I don’t have the DVD, but for what it’s worth, I’ve read that it includes an excellent backstory feature.