Directed by Mark Pavia [Other horror films: The Night Flier (1997)]
Mark Pavia, the director of this film, also directed a movie I rather enjoyed, being 1997’s The Night Flier. Here’s what’s interesting: The Night Flier was the last film that Pavia directed before this one. So it’s been just under twenty years since Pavia’s directed anything, and one would (reasonably) think that after such an extended hiatus, he’d be able to craft, at the very least, a movie on par with his last work.
Sadly, that’s not the case here.
17-year old Hilary (played by Makenzie Vega) gets into a fender bender with an odd individual, and later that night, the man attempts to kill her and her friends. It’s not necessarily all that amazing or creative a plot. What holds it back most, though, is the fact that, save the opening sequence of the movie, it takes a while for the horror elements to come into the film.
The movie’s an average-length film, at just around an hour and thirty minutes, and it’s not until an hour in that the killer actually starts making an appearance. Before that, there were some tense scenes, but it was nowhere near enough. Truth be told, though I liked Hilary and her two friends, I was bored for a large portion of the film. When things do start happening, nothing really stands out in those scenes either. The ending wasn’t a bad one, but it wasn’t overly satisfying either, and the killer’s final words make little sense.
So the story is rather average, and the only thing it can really boast is decent production value and a somewhat cool (if not generic) looking killer. The kills aren’t bad, and can even come across as brutal in a way, but much like the movie as a whole, they weren’t memorable. Really, the most interesting thing about this movie are the names involved.
Pavia’s directorial involvement aside, our lead character is played by Makenzie Vega, who isn’t a big name, but did play Lawrence Gordon’s daughter in Saw, so it’s a nice surprise to see that she’s still acting and I have to say, does really well with her character. Her father in the movie is played by Steven Michael Quezada, who portrayed Steve Gomez in Breaking Bad, which was another nice surprise (though Quezada doesn’t get much screen time).
All-in-all, though, Fender Bender doesn’t have that much to offer us as viewers, and it’s really a forgettable experience. It’s truly a shame that this is the product of a twenty year break.