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Film Review: Keepsake (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

Beneath the world we know, a dangerous lesson is being learned-monsters aren’t born…they’re made. Janine is a young woman on her way to a new life. But when a freak accident strands her on a deserted highway, a call for help soon becomes a fight for survival. Stalked and tormented by a psychotic tow truck driver, Janine soon finds herself trapped in a world of torture and depravity. Imprisoned in a cellar and given only thirty days to live, Janine must contend with both the ghosts of her past and the demons of her present in an effort to survive

REVIEW:

Janine, Janine, if you had kept your eyes on the road none of this would have happened… I spent most of this movie with my hands over my eyes screaming run girl run.

Keepsake is a riveting, arm chair grabbing, eye covering, scream out loud movie. I admit I screamed three times. Director Paul Moore did an awesome job with this movie.Keepsake is about a beautiful, headstrong woman named Janine (Sunny La Rose), who has an accident and becomes stranded on a dark stretch of highway in the middle of no where.
She calls for help and sets in the eerie darkness waiting for it to arrive. She is forewarned by local passerby’s (Jeff Schmidt and Ryan Capps) that she didn’t need to hang around for help. Unwilling to except a ride from these creepy strangers, she sets tight for her prince on white toe truck to arrive.

I don’t know if she called triple A, whoever she called did send help. Help is, a might be sexy if he shaved, toe truck driver whose shirt says Earl, oh, who by the way is mute. I love the strong silent type myself. Earl (Robert Pralgo) arrives and hooks up Janine’s car, which looks barely scratched to me. She and Earl exchange a few hand written words of conversation. They ride awkwardly to a gas station where Janine finds out she is in deep trouble.

She is almost rescued when a State Trooper (Rod Shephard) pulls up at the station. There is a confrontation between Earl and the state trooper, Shephard doesn’t have a very lengthy roll, don’t want to give too much away, lets just say that situation goes south.

Janine who has been chained up in the station bathroom is then drugged and taken to a secluded farm, thrown into a barn cellar where she makes new friends. Her new friends look like zombies, but I am not judging. Earl gives Janine thirty days to live. Over the course of time Janine is taken out of the basement and subjected to cold showers and dinner at the big house where she meets a fellow captive (Anna Tulou). This girl doesn’t say much either. If not for Janine this could almost be billed as a silent movie.

Earl torments Janine by torturing and killing other innocent women in front of her. She becomes determined to bring a stop to the mad toe truck driver and his evil ways.

While Janine is hanging out with her Zombie looking roommates, she starts lose grip with reality, if she ever really had a grip on reality. She begins to have lucid dreams of herself talking with her sister Alice (Courtney Hogan). In these dreams Alice gives advice to Janine on dealing with the past and the present. Janine also starts to hallucinate, (I hope it was a hallucination), when one of her Zombie roommates actually gets up and chit chats with her several times. After Janine found out how to come and go from her little paradise in the cellar, this is where I became frustrated and spent the rest of the movie yelling and screaming at the television screen ‘run girl run’ at the end, which I wont give away, I had an ah-ha moment explaining her hesitation.

In one of the little field trips from the cellar, Janine stumbles upon a gruesome discovery and finds out just how sick little Earl is. She climbs up into his makeshift loft hospital where he has been experimenting on other poor women (Corey Wood and Ashley Hudson). These poor women are not as lucky as Janine. Janine freaks out and runs back to her cellar. Janine is a tough chic with demons of her own. In the end Earl gets his (or loses it), however you want to look at it.
On the scare my booty off meter, I give this movie a four out of five. On the gruesome meter I give this movie a four out of five and on the acting level I give it a four out of five.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie and I darn sure never want to be broke down on the side of the road again.

Keepsake DVD is now available from Echo Bridge Home Entertatinment

Keepsake (2008)

About Vicky Renee Johnson

Vicky Renee Johnson was born and raised in Amory, Mississippi. She is a southern gurl who loves to read and write. She is the author of three published books, "A Mississippi Moonlight" "Magic and Magnolias" "Mississippi Vampires" and "A Faerie Girl" . Her books can be found at Amazon.com and Barnes and noble.com .

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8 comments

  1. Is there any chance you could spoil the ending? I wasn’t able to watch the whole movie but would like to know the meaning of it. What was it with the girl with wired teeth? And with all those dreams?

    • Anvers, i had to watch it twice to really understand what was going on and still am a little lost. I couldnt figure out why the other girl (we will call her brace-face) would not run. The dreams freaked me out just a little. In the end i couldnt figure out the sister thing. what happened at home for Janine and her sister to make her the way she was. It left some unanswered questions. I liked it though.

  2. Ok some corrections and elucidations:

    1) The “monster” was not a tow truck driver and his name was not Earl. He killed Earl. The cop asks him, “Where’s Earl?” because the cop knew Earl and the monster replies, “He’s my boss”.

    2) Many questions are unanswered about this movie. I got a strong feel it was a situation like the movie “Identity” where she is dealing with her own splintered personality in a kind of altered state of consciousness. I think this would be the only explanation that would answer every question. The movie does not tell us this in any definitive way but instead seems to indicate it because of all the loose ends.

  3. I think in the dreams she is talking to her ‘sister’ who is actually her alter ego? A more evil version of Janine? She become Alice towards the end of the film and switches from trying to escape to tormenting ‘Earl’.
    Both her and her sister say a few things that make me believe Janine was abused by her father (ie. refusing to lie on her back) who appears as a zombie in her imagination from time to time. I assume he is a zombie as she may have killed him (her first victim). Her abuse from her father has turned her into a serial killer who tortures men to death.
    I’m still really confused about why she tortures the other victim. I’m sure she mentioned at some point that ‘Earl’ is the victims father and that they were working together? Not sure if this is true (and if so, how they were working together and why her mouth is wired) or if it was just Janines paranoia.

  4. melinda lozzi

    Thanks too the previous people commenting,
    you answered most of my questions and confusion
    of this movie which was intently Good!!!
    ★★★What was the portfolio that the
    “the monster, not Earl”
    Pulled out of the trunk of Janine’s truck?
    Appreciate it
    MML

    • I’m a little late with responding but the portfolio was shown at the very end. It turns out that they were pictures of all of the men that Janine had tortured and killed. As I was watching this movie in a lower quality I’m not sure on this part but it appeared to me that they had all had their ‘man parts’ cut off. I guess you could say those were her “Keepsakes” as you can see a jar full of ‘man parts’in the back of her truck.

  5. My two cents….

    [SPOILERS ALERT]

    It seems to me that what actually happened was a serial killer grabbed the wrong woman who was, in fact, a serial killer herself. Consumed by a life a repeated abuse from Daddy, the protagonist is on the run after violently taking care of the family abuse problem and subsequently taking care of other “potential” problems along the way.

    We see sister Alice in dreams. I believe that there is no real Alice. Some people who have undergone abuse, develop a Multiple Personality Disorder in which a stronger personality is created to handle situations the more fragile personality cannot. In times of stress, presumably the abuse episode, the stronger personality emerges to protect the other and defend the weaker self or selves as best possible. In the dreams we hear Janine and Alice both talking about the “little problems” which we later find are likely the string of men killed along the way, the ones featured in the ‘keepsake’ picture album. It is likely the girls have talked like this in the past during periods of stress and abuse. We never know if Janine is actually asleep or merely disassociating from reality. Alice seems to know things and gives Janine clues presumably because Alice has been awake and noticing things all along. The other dream-like entities may also be fractionalized portions of Janine’s personality that serve to help her solve her current problem involving abuse. She never fears these other entities so perhaps this is all familiar territory.

    In the end, we do see Janine castrate ‘Earl’ and later drop his package into a jar. One more keepsake.

    Why does Janine trap the other girl with the wired jaw in the cellar with Earl? In her mind, Janine considered her a sympathizer. The girl was living in his house, eating his food, living a [marginally] better life for whatever reason. Alice mentioned in the dream that these other people could not be trusted and should be left behind. Even the dream image of jaw-wired girl told Janine to save herself because she could not save any others. Jaw-wired girl never seemed to fight back, never seemed to offer protest; she stood silently there letting it happen. Perhaps the thought Janine had was those who do not fight against the enemy end up helping the enemy. Maybe there was a person in Janine’s past that did not fight against HER enemy (Daddy) and stood by silently letting it happen. Perhaps her own history set the pattern for how revenge would be taken thereafter.

    All in all this is a better than average movie of this type and offers a bit of a twist that keeps things interesting. The protagonist has that fighting spirit and rouses the audience sympathies right up until we discover she may be as bad as the villain. In spite of it all, you have to admire Janine’s cool ability and perseverance if not her character and moral fortitude. This is one of those movies without heroes, without a satisfying outcome. Perhaps that is what makes this story more engaging.

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