We’ve had haunted mansions and forests, but a killer RV? That’s the premise of the half-baked and fully horrible horror thriller The Toybox.
Maybe the most fascinating part of the film is that it features late 1990s rising stars Denise Richards and Mischa Barton in hopefully the low point of their careers.
A family tries to reconnect by taking a a cross country trip in an RV. Family patriarch Charles (Greg Violand, ClownTown) probably should have checked the CarFax as he’s rented a killer RV.
Screenwriters Jeff Denton and Brian Nagel perform double duty as brothers Steve and Jay, who are less than enthusiastic about this road trip. But Steve is a dutiful son and brings along his wife (Richards) and daughter Olivia (Malika Michelle).
Trying to be Good Samaritans, the family pick up siblings Samantha (Barton) and Mark (Matt Mercer) whose car broke down along the highway. The Toybox starts to get extremely frustrating once the RV breaks down and logic completely falls apart too.
Apparently the RV is a super-powered killing machine as it can randomly turn on parts to maim its passengers, turn on the radio and TV, make windows sound proof and conjure up murderous boogeymen.
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For some reason the RV opts for the slow burn and takes its time killing the characters. There’s no reason why the RV is patient when it could easily kill off everyone and find a new slew of victims.
The characters have some pretty awful decision making skills too, which only seem geared to make their eventual deaths easier. One character keeps holding a knife, another opts for hanging behind the RV while others make equally boneheaded choices. There’s an overall lack of suspense since the characters are so helpless and incompetent to change their fate. This would be worse if the characters were more likable.
Director Tom Nagel sticks to all the horror thriller trademarks, but the setting makes for a tough sell. Why wouldn’t the family can’t just leave and get some help on the highway instead of letting their supplies drain out? The blood and gore scenes just seem gratuitous with no real purpose beyond graphics bloodshed.
The acting is pretty uninspired and that’s not helped by some lousy dialogue. Richards’ performance is the most embarrassing and laughable. It seems like a very long time since The World is Not Enough.
This is a thoroughly inept horror film likely to inspire more eye rolls than scares. Spare yourself this waste of time and leave The Toybox for the recycling bin.
Rating: 1 out of 10
Photo Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment