Movie Review: Route 666 (2001)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2001 action/horror film starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Lori Petty

Synopsis: Federal agents track down a witness in Arizona and, after rescuing him from an attempted mob hit, begin transporting him to Los Angeles so he can testify. Pressed for time, they take the long-abandoned Route 666, a road that was closed after an accident involving a prisoner chain gang. They quickly discover the road was closed off because the vengeful spirits of those prisoners still roam the pavement searching for blood.

Review

My wife and I were still somewhat awake last night after watching the season premiere of Pretty Little Liars and decided to watch a movie before bed. After debating three different choices, we picked Route 666 primarily because it was the shortest of the three.  From the film’s description, I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be all that good. However, it turned out to be much better than I expected to be.

The movie, as I kind of expected, was somewhat predictable as far as the storyline went. As soon as they entered the barricaded Route 666, we pretty much figured out what was going to happen and it wasn’t too difficult to deduce exactly why the prisoners were still haunting that stretch of road and how the local sheriff (Jones) was involved. It even ended pretty much the way we expected it to.

That being said, the film does manage to be entertaining. One thing I liked about it in particular was the fact it had plenty of action. A lot of movies like this will have long lulls and will get a little dull as a result. This film, in comparison, starts out with a shoot out and has the federal agents fighting mobsters, the ghosts, the local police and amongst themselves throughout. Granted, there were times when I was rolling my eyes a bit because of the nearly non-stop violence, but it was still entertaining.

Another thing I found I liked about this movie was the way the vengeful spirits couldn’t be killed. When I first read the description and it referred to the prisoners as zombies, I figured it was going to be as easy as shooting them in the head. Instead, nothing stopped them and the only known way to stay safe from them was to avoid any paved area. This was a little difficult because of the fact they were in the middle of a desert and couldn’t just stay on the side of the road. Plus, they still had a witness (Williams) to transport to trial by a set deadline. In other words, they were still expected to do their jobs and that, alone, kept things moving.

Route 666

Lou Diamond Philips, Lori Petty. FBI agents transporting a witness along an old highway encounter a chain gang killed years before. 2001/color/90 min/R.

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Final Opinion

It’s not the best horror film I’ve ever seen and there are some scenes that are actually a bit more comical than they are scary. However, the movie does manage to be fun to watch and, because of that, I would recommend watching it if you’re in the mood for something a little different.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 06/03/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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