Lane Toran’s Getaway is a warped cult horror film that concocts a spellbinding set-up. The opening sequence eerily films the perspective of a murdered victim, who is being dragged to their grave. The next scene wordlessly captures the bad men in their vilely calm state, as one of them is still finishing covering up the grave. The first two minutes thrive on the situation’s dubiety and the haunting nature of the characters’ stillness. Unfortunately, I can’t say that the following seventy-five minutes ever live up to the shadowy introduction.
Tamara Miller (Jaclyn Betham) has organized a weekend lake getaway with her two best friends Maddie (Scout Taylor-Compton) and Brooke (Landry Allbright), who are romantically involved. While driving to the lake, Tamara’s car ran out of gas, and some hillbillies creepily offer Tamara assistance. During a wild night of partying, a laced drink places Tamara in the devilish grasp of the cult-like rednecks.
“…a laced drink places Tamara in the devilish grasp of the cult-like rednecks.”
The trio of rednecks is made up of brothers Merv (Lane Toran) and Kib (Noah Lowdermilk), and their unfeeling father (Lane Caudell). This evil group has quite a reputation: they kidnap women, impregnate them, and then murder them.
Tamara is tied up in the barn, and the small-minded men preach to her about her purity, or the lack thereof. Getaway begins as a cruel film of two brothers drowning under the weight of their father’s twisted religious beliefs, echoing Bill Paxton’s Frailty, though not nearly as deliciously sinister or compelling. The film then takes an inherently absorbing turn, as the potentiality of witchcraft, repentance, and retribution takes hold. But the execution falters, and the final twist is absurdly halfbaked.
When we first meet Tamara, played by a convincingly flustered Jaclyn Betham, she’s full of herself. Disdainful to a seemingly affable yet painfully naive police officer named Jerry (Jamil Walker Smith), Tamara arrives on-scene with very little compassion. As the film continues, Tamara doesn’t have any redeeming qualities, but we still care about her safety against this sordid men. When the sketchy men confront Tamara after her car runs out of gas, the fear takes hold. Lane Toran’s Merv does the talking, and his chilling words and telling smirks are particularly potent in this scene. Noah Lowdermilk’s Kib is especially effective here as he awkwardly lingers on the passenger side of Tamara’s car. Thankfully, she drives off unscathed.
"…a warped cult horror film that concocts a spellbinding set-up."