” The film follows Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox and Ned (squeal) Beatty (squeal) as they take a canoeing trip down a river, just for fun as a dam will soon lead to the river being flooded. But there trip is ruined by the stalking hillbillies that follow them down the river.
Well the two things that everybody knows about this film is 1) There’s some rape and 2) There’s a banjo scene. This is probably because, there’s nothing else really worth talking about in the film. Like Saturday Night Fever, there is about one scene that everybody knows and is iconic. So I approached this film expecting these famous moments to be sandwiched in, an all round iconic film. But there just wasn’t that.
This film was nominated for 3 Oscars (4 less than Babe), but missed out mostly because the Godfather.
I felt like I was missing part of the story, and that despite understanding all the characters, I just felt there was a missing back story there.
I have no idea why any of these characters are friends. Even before they start getting harassed by hillbillies they bicker with each other. and Burt Reynold’s seems to be living in a completely different film, or just a world of his own; with all his deep profound lines and repetitive ‘it’s all a game’!
There are some god thing’s though, I mean undeniably the acting is great, especially from the 4 leads especially Ronny Cox, I think. The camera shot’s are incredibly eerie, with all these point of view type shots, making it seem like the 4 men re being watched at all times, which is incredibly creepy as well as the continuous banjo soundtrack that also adds to the eeriness. But then the banjo soundtrack just gets milked and at first you are like, ‘this is creepy’ and then you’re kind just like ‘oh fun banjo music’, in a scene where that isn’t what you should be thinking.
One thing I did like about it was how it didn’t beat around the bush at all. Where it could have been dressed as a fun canoeing trip with 4 friends and then about half an hour in it turns out it’s some horror with hillbillies. But almost immediately it’s brought to our attention that these hillbillies are creepy. But in an equal way this is bad. Because you just have to be like, the audience can gather that these people are a little bit psychotic, why leave your cars with them?
But there is a sustained consistent sense of terror through out, with a fairly interesting character study.
I think the most annoying thing is the last twenty minutes, because once they actually get off the river. It doesn’t quite know where to fully stop, so it ends up doing the Return of the King thing by ending like 12 times, but does it worse. I mean the very final scene is very clever but the scenes leading up to it are just a little tedious, you just want it to reach some sort of conclusion.
Also Ned Beatty’s teeth look disgusting.”
An interesting watch, with some fairly good moments but by no means a classic.
Best Line in the Film: Probably one of Burt Reynolds many deep or profound lines.