A Twisted River
Following the death of her father a grieving Mara (Michelle Page) heads to Rogue River to scatter her father's ashes as it was at the river he had so many great memories of. But not only does Mara learn that she can't scatter ashes when she gets there but her car ends up towed away leaving her in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception. Fortunately the kindly Jon (Bill Moseley) is around who invites Mara to stay with him and his wife Lea (Lucinda Jenney) in their home in the woods for the night before she can sort the car mess out in the morning. That is when things take a turn for the worse as well as the weird as not only does Mara find herself getting her hand stitched after an incident with a plate but she discovers Jon standing over her room in his underwear after she passed out.
There are certain rules which most sane people live by; don't go in to the woods alone, don't get in a strangers car and definitely don't go back to their house and if they tempt you with candy... well that is a definite sign to get the heck out of there as quickly as possible. As such you have to disengage your brain when you sit down to watch "Rogue River" as whilst you could say that Mara is an in control sort of woman for going to Rogue River alone you have to think she is stupid when she gets in to a stranger's car and goes to his house.
But of course logic is not high on the list of importance when you watch "Rogue River" as this is a movie about mystery and gore. It is the mystery which some how keeps you watching, that need to know what Jon and Lea's deal is with them acting extremely creepy. Thankfully it doesn't just splurt everything out in one go and you are kept waiting for a bit to understand what they want with Mara and what they plan to do, which frankly you know doesn't end well because this is another one of those movies which starts at the end before jumping back to the beginning.
Then there is the gore and in truth this is where "Rogue River" starts to come in to its own with an initial scene to make you cringe as Jon holds Mara down as Lea stitches the gaping wound on her hand together with Mara screaming in a combination of pain and fear. And it gets a lot more torturous than that with several more big impact scenes including one involving boiling water and Mara's mouth which those who enjoy movies labelled as torture porn might be impressed by. The thing is that beyond the mystery and the torture stuff it doesn't have a great deal else and certainly not enough to sustain a general horror fans interest.
What this all boils down to is that "Rogue River" ends up one of those movies which you feel like you have seen before because it is a reworking of a familiar type of story with just some details changed and a greater focus on torture porn.