Roger and Alice head to a camp that Roger has inherited. Their nice trip together escalades to a nightmare on the road after Roger accidently hits a truck with a bottle. They manage to get away for the time being, but in the morning after the truck has been waiting for them and is ready for its revenge.
The following review might include some spoilers. As usual, we don't think they will ruin the experience, but now it's up to you to decide!
There are two types of "road rage" horrors - one explores the idea of picking up the wrong hitchhiker (as seen in... you know, "The Hitcher" and "Hitch-Hike" among other titles), and then there is the very distinct vehicle chase type. In here you'd quickly think of "Duel", and rightfully so, but also in movies like "Joy Ride" and the recent "Rage" by Christopher R. Witherspoon. The two types are pretty different, but one thing remains the same - the intensity. Whether you have someone in the car constantly with you, or being followed by a mysterious person in a larger vehicle, the adrenaline is pumping. Or it should be, in a successful movie. Lee Vervoort is clearly paying tribute to the car chase styled road rage flicks in "The Truck".
Roger and Alice is a young couple. When Roger inherits an abandoned camp, they plan a trip to go there. It's starts out as any other movie of this type - the freedom of the open road, the playful mindset they're in and finally... the small innocent thing that triggers the rage of a madman. Roger throws a bottle at a street sign but manages to hit a truck, and the driver is quick to show his anger by following them. But just for a short bit to scare them, but enough to see where they went. Roger and Alice spend the night camping. In the morning they get ready to check out the area with the car. The only problem is, of course, that the truck is waiting for them. The truck will stop at nothing to get back at the assholes who threw a bottle, and will make damn sure they suffer.
There is one thing I am very happy with about "The Truck". For the most part it takes itself seriously. It's not until the sheriff and the deputy characters are introduced that it goes for laughs - which ruins it a bit. Frankly, I didn't actually like the movie, but having it played seriously at least shows a certain degree of passion and respect for the genre that is missed out when it resorts to yet another 70s-80s tribute that goes too far. In this case it's with the deputy having a huge minigun attached to his wheelchair (yes, he is in a wheelchair), which is entirely pointless because he dies a second after. When the movie focuses on the truck chasing the couple, it takes itself seriously and that's superior to intentionally ruining itself.
However, "The Truck" is filled with cheesy moments. Every kill will have you laughing, not because they are done jokingly, but because of how they are executed or how the person is randomly screaming their lungs off while not moving before they are hit. It starts out with a woman on a bridge and the truck hits her. Her legs are chopped off by the ankles. The feet fall on the ground while the woman (the obvious dummy that was used) falls into the river. This is the quality of most kills, as they mostly seem to lay flat on the ground after having been hit - not pushed away by the force of the truck, falling on the engine or any of that. Just seemingly laying down and being run over (between the wheels). It's not effective in the least, that's for sure. It also makes weird unbelievable decisions like when they arrive at a warehouse area and instantly assume a large door is open (and has space to drive a car into it) - and it is. Clearly mostly a case of them having access to a warehouse, no?
For the most part the movie just doesn't seem to know how to convince us. It's all over the kills, but it actually started even before that in a conversation between a woman and a hippie. The woman, for reasons I don't need to say here, tells the hippie that it's 1987. That's fine because it's done in a way to mock him, but the problem is that they clearly said it to make us aware of the year. It's not apparent in anything else, nor does it really matter except for them not having cell phones. If you want a movie to be set in a certain year or period, at least make it part of the movie. You might look at the cars here and agree that it could be the '80s (I don't know, because I'm not a car expert), but the year has nothing else to do with the movie. It's hard not to think they decided it was the '80s because that's when you could see movies like these.
I honestly do appreciate that for the majority of the movie they have respect for the genre and play it straight, but it doesn't make it a good movie. It has scenes that aren't terrible, but they are few. It mostly kept me busy laughing at the wrong things (I didn't laugh at the intentionally funny things, which doesn't help) or shaking my head because it often seemed like the filmmakers used everything they could find and made the movie around that. It might have worked for Robert Rodriguez with his turtle and guitar, but certain movies make it seem forced. Watch "The Truck" if you think it's your thing. I think it's funny when it shouldn't be, and there's some charm in that too. If you want to experience the intensity of some of the classics then you should just go back to those, or look elsewhere.