Rest Stop: Don't Look Back (2008)

Directed by: Shawn Papazian

Written by:
John Shiban


Richard Tillman .... Tom Hilts
Jessie Ward .... Marilyn
Graham Norris .... Jared
Joey Mendicino .... Jess Hilts
Julie Mond .... Nicole
Brionne Davis .... The Driver
Diane Salinger .... The Mother
Michael Childers .... The Father
Steve Railsback .... The Owner

Release Date: Direct-to-DVD: September 28, 2008



A corporal named Tom Hilts (Richard Tillman) goes on a search to California to search for his brother Jess (Joey Mendicino) who disappeared a year ago with his girlfriend Nicole (Julie Mond) and travels down an old dusty highway with his girlfriend Marilyn (Jessie Ward) where he was last seen followed by his goofy friend Jared (Graham Norris) who's driving behind him.
Jared needs to go to a pit stop and is attacked by a yellow truck and then suddenly Tom is kidnapped by the fellow driving the yellow truck and next thing you know Jared and Marilyn spots Nicole's ghost as the two of them are realising that they are facing supernatural forces.


There's a good moment with Jess Hilts in a trailer with the strange family acting crazy towards him and torturing him to death in which all of this looks truly painful and disturbing.
Many good shots on Tom Hilts and Marilyn in their vehicle with shots on them driving along in the desert along with Jared following them and talking to them on his walkie talkie acting like a goofball. The moment on this looked very natural as people going on a journey to find some lost people and the odd time goofing around.
Good shots on tire plates and license plated hung near a gas station along with some tense conversations between Tom and the owner which looked creepy when Tom tries to get aggressive with him about a lost person and the owner is acting freaky and just plain out of it like he was doped up.
A nice discussion between Tom and Marilyn in their hotel room making out and then a nice shot on the window with a vehicle shining a light on them giving it a perfect spooky feel to it.
A good shot on Jared in an outhouse and a hand grabbing at him when he tries to pick something up which is a good jumping moment.
There's a good shot on him peeking through a hole with a truck ready to charge at him which looked suspenseful as well as a nice shot on the truck knocking over the outhouse with him tumbling over which looked gross with the results.
A good shot on him going into his car and suddenly Nicole appears in the backseat almost giving it that spooky type of feel to it.
We have a nice discussion on a grassy field between these two with her acting very out of it and behaving very strangely plus there's good shots on the two of them making out.
A good shot on Tom Hilts tied up in a truck and getting aggressive towards the driver kidnapping him. There's also good shots on the vehicle speeding along the road.
A good moment with Jared in a trailer van with two twins sucking popsicles as well as the mother and father speaking crazily towards him.
Some nice close up shots on Tom being bolted down by the driver with many good dark shots but the scene needed a bit of work on as this was supposed to look psychological and it misses. There's nice struggling shots on him trying to remove the bolts from him and yelling in pain.
A good discussion between him when he finds his borther in a cage acting like a mental case which was nicely done and twisted looking too.
There's great shots on Marilyn tied up crying as well as the driver torturing Jared by plucking out his eyeballs almost making this scene hard to watch.
Bottom line is that this sequel still keeps you glued to the set not wanting to miss anything on what's going to happen to anyone. Still it looked a bit rushed since that is very common for most sequels. Also they tried to make some torturous moments psychological but it lacked a bit and same with the hauntings which didn't look convincing that these people were ghosts but did act strangely which seemed to make up for that.
This film borrowed alot from Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jeepers Creepers and Joyride. However, they tried too hard to make it look as spooky as these flicks but at times it works. Other times it falls flat.

The acting is in good taste especially for the lead actor Richard Tillman (Tom Hilts) with a good serious attitude as well as him getting aggressive and tough when he needed to. Not too bad painful reaction with him being botted down by the maniac driver. He looked very energetic yelling in pain. He really brought everything together with his performance for this one and getting right to the point with it all. A true character actor he was.
Jessie Ward
(Marilyn) does well with her bubbly attitude just not taking certain things seriously as well as having a tough as nails bitchy attitude too. I liked how she portrayed her part for the story and deserves good credit for what she did in it. Good obnoxious reactions on her with some of the stuff her fellow cast member says.
Graham Norris
(Jared) was quite a character for this flick as a geeky type but outgoing too. He brought a nice charm to the plot of the film and proving himself to be a worthy character actor like the rest mentioned. He totally stood out as far as I can see. Nice scared reactions on him which was well put together showing that he's not in a safe position during a certain scene when the terror strikes him. Great tense reactions when he's being tortured half to death.
There's a good supporting actor Steve Railsback (The Owner) who plays a gas station owner and does well by behaving strangely and totally out of it showing that he's a possible suspect to all the terrors that's happening to anyone around the area.

Holes are drilled into people's bodies
Eyeballs are plucked out
Lots of blood

There's many sounds like a guitar string trying to get wound up with the right toning sounds. Plus there's some bluesy violin music and guitar playing too with the odd banging sounds for the shocking moments all composed by Bear McCreary.