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DVD Review: Shuttle (2008)

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Returning late one night to the big city following a weekend-long bender in Mexico, Mel (Peyton List) and her “best friends forever” partner-in-crime Jules (Cameron Goodman) hop on board an airport shuttle with two young hotshots (James Snyder and Dave Power) and a very timid traveler (Cullen Douglas, who looks like Buster Bluth's stunt double). The driver of the shuttle (Tony Curran) was nice enough to give them a ride for next-to-nothing… but when the driver’s true sadistic personality emerges, will he be nice enough to let them survive? As the night draws closer to day, the driver begins to maim, torture, and kill his fares — but for the girls, the worst is yet to come.

Everything I’ve read about Shuttle seems to be negative. I stopped by the IMDb after watching it and took a look at some of the message boards — truthfully, I was a bit stunned that so many people down-and-out hated this film. I’m of the firm suspicion that most of these haters are probably kids who were simply disappointed that Shuttle wasn’t the nudity-laced torture porn flick they were hoping for, while other folks who appeared to hold the movie in high disregard probably couldn’t handle the ending.

One thing that I am in perfect agreement with the haters of the movie Shuttle on and found particularly problematic were the characters — they’re  oblivious when it comes to the obvious. Are people really this stupid nowadays? Doesn’t “perfectly reasonable paranoia” exist anymore? Oh, wait, of course they are, because we’re talking about teenagers here, folks! Surprise — the world isn’t all rosy and cheery and stuff. Bad things happen to good people. Your daddy cannot buy you out of every shitty situation you happen to fall into. Now, some might say that’s my pessimism talking, but hey, I call it like I see it (and I‘ve seen it a few times, believe me).

I myself am a mistrustful individual. I know that there are people out in the world who are comprised of nothing more than pure evil. I rely on my keen spidey-senses and my invisible whiskers to alert me to potentially dangerous situations. I would never stick my face into a fan. I would never run with scissors. I would never begin multiple sentences with the word “I.” I would also never hop on board an airport shuttle driven by a finger-severing, face-slashing, stone cold maniac who would take me to the most desolate part of the big city’s industrial neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning with the intent of doing God only knows what to me — but I could see how a group of teenagers would make that mistake.

All kidding aside, I thought Shuttle was a very good flick: it succeeded in holding my interest throughout its entire 107-minute running time; the writing/direction (by Edward Anderson) was knit well enough that if I did notice a hole, I didn’t put very much thought into it; and above all, Shuttle had one of the more satisfying finales I’ve seen as of late. I would even be willing to watch a prequel or a sequel to this if they made one.

Shuttle looks very pale and washed-out on DVD — but, being that it is a very dark movie (both in terms of story and lighting), the very pallid and overly yellowed colors only add to the movie’s effective atmosphere. Magnolia Home Entertainment presents Shuttle in an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen ratio with 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 Stereo Surround audio options. Spanish subtitles are available, as is English closed captioning.

As is usually the case when I actually like a movie, Shuttle’s special features are somewhat limited. There’s a short behind-the-scenes featurette with select cast and crew (5:13); brief casting sessions with the six principal cast members (24:00); three very fleeting deleted scenes (4:12); and the theatrical trailer (1:57). Several trailers for other Magnolia releases play automatically at the beginning of the disc.

For being a low-budget film made by a first time writer/director, Shuttle is an exceptionally creepy movie that will definitely make you think twice about using an airport shuttle the next time you get off of a plane. Recommended.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
  • malavai

    Kinda blah,
    Intersting premise, but the girls should have been naked instead of just stripped to their undies, (you don’t buy a clothed slave).

    And one thus, they would have been kept that way until delivery to the client as a control measure.

    The US Army and CIA have been using enforced nudity as a means of controlling prisoners since 2003.