I think the word cheap refers more to the cost of making this than anything about the quality. I thought it ranked up there with anything else made that was big budget. I guess what keeps it down was there are only a few scenes - in some ways, it could be a play.
It has a camping scene, a hi-jack on a road scene, a few shots in the car and then the gas station mini-mart scene. There were a few, just enough CGI effects to sell the plot but I can see where this likely had a low budget.
I rewatched a lot of it last night, couldn't help myself, then watched Atrocious
(dubbed in English) about three young siblings with a few nice cameras filming the house and hedge maze next door just for the fun of it - I will say, I can watch horror all day, but this scared the crap out of me. The claustrophobic maze, especially shot using night cam as the one brother and sister ran through it despirately trying to find the exit had me grabbing the Xanax bottle.
I was a Blair Witch like film, all of those type films are better than Blair Witch and I'm still shocked Roger Ebert gave that 4 stars. Of course it was the first of that mocumentary type genre. Better films, Cloverfield, Quarantined I and II, Diary of the Dead (awesome George Romero film) and others - as my wife calls them Shaky films.
But Atrocious scared me, no film scares me. I think it was because (and I know this to be very true) it reminded me of being lost in the New Jersey Pinelands at night - 1 million acres of protected wetlands and forest where trees grow only 4ft apart, bramble are 3ft high and even in the day time you can be 10ft from a truck-wide fire road and NOT be able to see it. I spend a night there, heck I live only 500ft from the Northern border of the Pinelands (some call it the Pine Barrens) checkout www.pineypower.com
for some history.
But my getting list while camping with three friends was no joke, I was about 20 followed what I thought was a trail until it wasn't anymore and it had gotten dark, mostly from the dense trees - I walked without a clue for three hours, no light, screaming didn't help. Eventually I just laid there and slept until daylight and it was still 2 hours before we all found each other - I had made it to a fire road and had an idea which way to go, but it was traumatic for me and my friends. This movie brought a lot of that back and I deleted it as fast as I could when I was done watching it.
To add some proof about the Pinelands, a "expert" haunted and scary place author was on George Noory's Coast to Coast AM show one night - he had traveled the world, literally a hundred place and more looking for spooky houses, inns, graveyards,etc.. And he said (when he searched for the Jersey Devil) there is no more frightening place on earth than the NJ Pinelands night or day - you could be a hundred feet of 1/2 a million acres from anything and you could not tell the difference. The Brambles he went on saying HELD YOU THERE, NOT WANTING YOU TO LEAVE and the trees were like matches in book stacked so close you wondered if you could even get through them.
So I had a scary moment tonight, I can't imagine what I'll dream but I'm not looking forward to sleeping - maybe that is why it is 2:20am and I'm still posting.