Mary has just been released from prison after doing time for setting alight to her evil serial killer boyfriend. During his vicious campaign as the notorious Rain Ripper, he forced her to witness the latter stages of his nefarious reign leaving her emotionally ravaged by guilt and severe PTSD.
Struggling to suppress distressing hallucinations, and determined to attain normality, she takes a night job at Deer Gas Market in the middle of nowhere. However, her terrifying past refuses to stay buried and is equally determined to make this particular graveyard shift literal.
This efficiently gruelling slasher flick is entertaining and engaging within the parameters of its remit and fluent in the expectations of its target audience.
The timeline is tight and twisty with meaty gore effects spicing up the satisfyingly frequent butchery. The plot plays second fiddle to the stylised violence, with some gigantic holes and spectacularly fuck-witted character decisions, but the all-important tension and jump scares are remarkably effective thanks to solid acting, likeable characters and an avaricious final 3rd. Vanessa Grasse is rangy and believable as the vulnerable Mary and the rest of the cast do a fine job of fleshing out the flicks self-contained milieu.
Thematically the picture deals with the stigma of mental illness with surprising decorum as it explores the internal terror of denial and silence in the face of institutionalisation. Although Open 24 Hours follows the slasher template to a degree it strays from the path in some interesting areas. Blurring the edges of actuality is nothing new in the genre but the movie uses this device to pleasing ends and when the unreal finally metamorphosises into the hyper-real the killer upgrades his murder weapon in tandem and the onslaught ups a gear in response. Look out also for an unflinchingly shocking immolation scene and a thrilling jolt where Carrie meets The Shinning by way of Trainspotting.
Fans of spiteful slasher fare will find a lot of bang for their bloodsoaked buck in this enthusiastically executed and well-marshalled genre entry.