Fender Bender full movie review - The Return of Mark Pavia
In a small New Mexico town, a 17-year-old high school girl (Makenzie Vega) who just got her driver's license gets into her first fender bender, innocently exchanging her personal information with an apologetic stranger (Bill Sage).
When listing off the so-called masters of horror, the name Mark Pavia does not typically come up. But Pavia did make a great horror film -- "The Night Flier" -- and has finally returned to the director's chair for "Fender Bender". Where were you, Mark? We missed you! This time, in cooperation with Scream! Factory and Chiller, Pavia takes on the slasher film. This is his baby, through and through: he wrote the script based on his original idea, he directs and he helped produce. And what we get is a pretty decent addition to the genre. Although this is more of a PG-13 horror (no nudity or cursing), it still has its share of gore and it really excels in the way it handles pacing. Cinematography Tyler Cushing lets his camera hover on various things just long enough to build suspense and keep us on edge.
The story also has a nice subplot. Although the identity of the killer is firmly established early on, a cheating boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend) also plays a significant role... and leaves the audience guessing who is going to be the one showing up at the door. And who is more dangerous, a stalking killer or a drunk and emotional ex-boyfriend? While "Fender Bender" is definitely not going to be as big of a hit as "Night Flier", it is still far better than basically every made-for-TV horror and sci-fi film out there. Pavia relies on classic storytelling and shies away from cheap scares and terrible CGI. With the exception of perhaps the "Sharknado" series, SyFy has never come close to what Chiller is unveiling with this.
Welcome back, Mark Pavia. Please don't be a stranger.