As any fan will tell you, low budgets are no object to creating a decent horror movie. The right script, a good cast, some suspense and you're screaming. From the outside, 'Reeker' looks like it might be one of those B-movie gems that's worth a look. Sadly, it won't join the honour roll.

Five college students – hunk (Richardson), babe (Kebbel), stoner (Whyte), adult (Illman) and thinker (Gummersall) - head out on a road trip to a party in the desert. It's the usual mix of chemistry, tension, jibes and jokes for a while - until they double back to a town in the middle of nowhere and things start to get very strange. Their phones won't work, they can't get a signal on the radio and everyone seems to have disappeared. And they're foolish enough to think there's a logical explanation.

Writer-director Payne begins 'Reeker' promisingly, but the film never establishes its own identity. Worse, it's not funny or scary enough to make you overlook its shortcomings. It seems as if Payne didn't know the talent he had at his disposal: Michael Ironside isn't in it enough, while Illman and Gummersall, playing the gusty heroine and her blind friend, should've been the only two of the five to feature. As for the villain, well, if you think a skeleton with an egg whisker at the end of his arm is scary then prepare for terror.

There is a twist, but the build-up to it is so poor that it doesn't have the impact it could have and you'll be left thinking that this film truly lives up to its name. If you've ever wanted to see someone disappear down a toilet, however, you should be first in the queue. There won't be many behind you.

Harry Guerin