Emilie Dequenne makes an impulsive and gutsier heroine than normal, and acts as a bit of a trouble-magnet in this very enjoyable little gem. Warming to her hitch-hiker passenger, she's baffled when he disappears in a shabby roadside diner and returns to investigate. As usual in films of this kind, curiosity turns out to be a bad habit...
The characters are enjoyable and very watchable, from brutally practical matriarch La Spack, to Phillipe Nahon's oddball retired detective, through to the thoughtful hitch-hiker and the biker-gang trio who largely act as comic relief.
When the freaks come out to play, their reveal is intruiging and creepy, the properly executed stuff of weird horror nightmares, and the legend behind them is equally creepy. They themselves are hideous and freakish, and they make for a great relentless enemy.
Nearly everybody in the movie has a secret, and it's never short of intruigue. The only slightly lazy point is the inclusion of a character who's just obvious 'cannon fodder'. Consistently interesting, it's shot in bleak colours, has a tatty, run-down design to everything, and feels just real enough to be alarming. The gore is copious and well executed, and the tension is great. It even has perhaps the best '70s style cover I've seen in years.