MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Old 37’ Will Make You Second Guess Calling 9-1-1


Film: Old 37
Starring: Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley
Genre: Horror

Everyone knows who to call when roadside emergencies occur, but what if your worst nightmare was the person, or people, who responded to your cries for help? That idea serves as the central premise for Old 37, which swerves from a bloody death fest to a chilling collection of incredibly unnerving sequences and back again with ease.

Somewhere in upstate New York there exists a quiet stretch of highway with a bloody past. For the last several decades there have been accidents reported on this road, but every time officials show up to the scene both the victims and their vehicles are nowhere to be found. Some believe this mystery is all a part of some elaborate prank, but viewers soon learn something far worse is happening to the poor souls who encounter trouble on this road. One by one, or two by two if the accident is large, each person who encounters bad luck on this stretch of pavement soon meets their fate. The reason for that is as simple as it is deeply disturbing, and what it means for the teens at the center of the film is nothing short of terrifying.

Old 37 is a gruesome, one-of-a-kind thrill ride you won’t soon forget. After opening with a bloody sequence that establishes the film’s tone in a way that is sure to turn off more than a few people with queasy stomachs, the story settles into a classic tale of young people and their desire to get more out of life. Every teen horror stereotype is accounted for, from the popular girl who is far too sure of her sexiness, to the nerdy guy who won’t put his camera down no matter how crazy things get, and they’re all executed so well you don’t mind the fact they’re just variations of characters you’ve seen a thousand times before. Part of the reason for this is due to the strong performances, the best of which comes from Brandi Cyrus, but credit is also due to the story’s incredibly grounded script. Even when things reach a point that seems to defy logic you remain engaged with what is happening because the story being told is too good to deny, and as far as I’m concerned there is no better sign of having created a worthwhile motion picture than that. In fact, I would argue Old 37 is more than another typical horror film. It’s an experience, and depending on how much you allow it to get under your skin it could very well keep you up at night for weeks on end.

It’s not all good, though. While Old 37 does do an incredible job of pulling you into its twisted world from the very beginning, nearly half the runtime passes before the two maniacs we meet at the start begin their assault on the unsuspecting teens. In the meantime, viewers are treated to a mix of drama (to make us care about the teens) and back story (to help us understand the maniacs). Both sides of the story are well written, but the director encounters a little trouble when trying to balance the two on screen. The origin of the rogue ambulance drivers is far more interesting than the motivations behind why the teens end up driving poorly. Unfortunately, it’s the teens and their generally minuscule problems who get the majority of the screen time, and as a result there are a few moments early on when the film struggles to maintain the pace set in the opening sequence. Things eventually recover though, and by the halfway mark you’ll notice your butt has moved considerably closer to the edge of your seat.

There is no doubt in my mind that watching Old 37 will make you think twice before dialing 9-1-1. I don’t know if that fact is a good thing or a bad one, but I now know for a fact that horror doesn’t get much better than Paul Travers’ twisted imagination. He may be new to the scene as a filmmaker, but his passion and admiration for the genre as a whole is present in every aspect of the film. From the decision to cast iconic genre vets Mosely and Hodder as the twisted villains, to the brief embraces of found footage, endless raunch, and somehow creating a world so fully realized that it makes you feel like it’s never safe to let your guard down, there is something for every horrorhound in this picture.


Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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