Friday, July 25, 2014

Amber Alert: Terror on the High Way
Releases on DVD July 29th, 2014
1 hr 23 mins
Not Rated


Director: George Mendeluk
Tom Berenger as Larsan
Torri Higginson as Chief Geiger
Britt McKillip as Katie
Genevieve Buechner as Debra
Nicole Oliver as Cynthia
Chilton Crane as Marie
Jessica Parker Kennedy as Sandy
Tyler Johnston as Pete
Dana McLoughlin as June Larson

Review by Danale H.

In Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway (not to be confused with the Amber Alert film made in 2012), a dangerous man kidnaps two teenage girls, triggering the Amber Alert system. 

Just released from a 10 year prison sentence, convict, Edward Larson (played by Tom Berenger) proves that he is a criminal at heart -- robbing two men in the woods, hijacking the car of two elderly women, and holding up a small town gas station -- before heading to his old home, in Oregon. Upon his arrival, Larson finds that his ex-wife. June Larson (played by Dana McLoughlin) doesn't want anything to do with him. She wants him out of her and their daughter, Kaylee Larson's (played by Katie Stuart), life for good. From there, he decides to head to the only place he's ever truly felt free, a lake in the mountains, but not before kidnapping Debra (Genevieve Buechner), who is celebrating her birthday with her best friend, and Katie (Britt McKillip), who wants to travel to Italy with friends. After receiving a 911 call from Debra's boyfriend, Pete (played by Tyler Johnston), and investigating the site of the kidnapping, Sheriff Geiger (played by Torri Higginson), the mother of Debra's boyfriend, decides to activate the amber alert. The cops eventually catch up to Larson, and... you'll have to see for yourself how it ends.

This approximately 83 minute long movie, overall, seemed to have a time killing pointlessness to it with its underdeveloped characters, mundane performances, messy plot, and fatuous dialogue. Though veteran actor, Tom Berenger, is able to deliver a creepy performance, his performance across the board was uninspiring. I would recommend Platoon, if you want to see Berenger show off his bad side in a good film, as his talent may have been wasted in this one. The rest of the cast demonstrates a lack of chemistry and mediocre acting, which consists of lots of crying and over doing it. I'm referring to the chemistry between Marie and her estranged husband, when they reunited and were looking to get back together?? ... It seemed forced and trying, like an attempt to add something meaningful to the film. There are a few of those moments, including the conversation between the police Chief and her son. The most believable moment was the young brothers of Katie asking their mom to tell their sister to come home. I was frustrated with the chemistry (or lack thereof) and interaction of the kidnapped girls, as well as their lack of any real dialogue, only crying. I would have liked to see the girls work together, as Katie's character seemed to take some initiative and the lead, Debra did virtually nothing, but boohoo. Another scene I'm paused to is, -- and this was especially more comedic than scary when you think of someone in a situation like this, not to mention bad overacting, -- Cynthia (Debra's mom) when she learns, from the police, that her daughter has been kidnapped, and she runs frantically from door to door asking for help. She over did it, and in doing so, she made it not believable at all.

From the beginning, Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway does not really draw any emotion from the viewer. The only part of this movie I can honestly say I liked, was the end. It's a low budget film, and it shows with the terrible acting and editing. The numerous choppy scenes were poorly done. Directed by George Mendeluk and produced by Jack Nasser, Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway attempts to bring about a terrifying, emotional, suspenseful drama or thriller. It didn't do that for me. I'd give it a 1 out of 5 and in my opinion, this movie may have been better as a book. 

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