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The Attendant
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The Attendant (2004)

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Plot Summary:
"A ghostly gas station attendant kills off a group of campers who realize he is the reason for the legend of campers routinely coming to the woods to commit suicide."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 10 June 2005 My Rating: out of 5


This unusual film starts out like any other, but made a huge attempt to be different in it's execution, and for the most part it succeeds.

The film starts with a rather cliched 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' inspired blurb about strange occurrences in some woods, and the fate that awaited the friends who went camping there in 2002. It soon begins, and we are introduced to the six friends who all bare a striking resemblance to famous actors. Anyway, the poor man's Corey Feldman, Edward Norton, Jennifer Tilly, Charlene Tilton, Minnie Driver and Wentworth Miller soon discover that they are low on gas and pull into a nearby diner. The locals recreate the diner scene from Friday the 13th, and then the kids disobey the waitresses' directions on purpose to piss the locals off. This turns out to be a big mistake, as the kids soon find themselves under threat from some supernatural force in the forest.

Reading my synopsis above you may get the impression that the film is purely a retread of better films, but it is only now a full day later that I have noticed these similarities, as the film holds your interest and entertains for the majority of the running time, thanks to the capable cast and deserted woodland locations.

I became restless at one point and checked the time and realised that I was perhaps bored because the film had elapsed a running time of 56 minutes and no-one had been killed yet. I was soon pleasantly surprised to learn that the majority of the principal cast and one of the locals were all killed off within the next 15 minutes, and it still found time to throw in a mildly surprising ending.

I was then perplexed by what had just occured, as the film had really taken it's time to establish it's surroundings and characters before offing them all more or less in unison.

The film then made up for it however by including ten minutes of genuinely funny on set antics (that I suspect were scripted or at least planned, although Jennifer Tilly-alike had me fooled for a minute) that were very effective all on their own.

The film does the friends slaughtered in the woods thing a bit differently and is certainly entertaining, but I'm still a bit puzzled as to why it ends so quickly? The deaths fly by fast and the mock behind the scenes footage is worth waiting to see, so if you've seen everything else it's well worth a watch.

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