7.30, Christmas Eve: a familay - father Frank (Ray Wise), mother Laura (Lin
Shaye), son Richard (Mick Cain), daughter Marion (Alexandra holden), &
Marion's boyfriend Brad (Billy Asher) - are going to a family celebration,
taking some lonley backwoods road ... but when Frank momentarily dozes off on
the wheel, they almost have a fatal accident ... & that's when the troubles
Soon they meet a lady (Amber Smith) dressed in white with a baby who seems
to be injured, & offer her to drive her at least to the next telephone.
However when they stop at a ranger's cabin, they leave her alone with Brad
for a few minutes, who finds out her baby is not only dead but also horribly
mutilated, both the lady & Brad are gone. & the last thing they see of
Brad is him being driven off in a vintage black hearse ...
In pursuit of the hearse though, the family eventually finds the horribly
mutilated corpse of Brad on the roadside - which puts Marion into an instant
Driving back to civilisation to inform the police proves to be a task more
difficult than it would seem though, as the road they are going on seems to
stretch rather endlessly - & soon the fragile balance of the family seems
to be breaking up ... until Marion comes out of her trance & tells everyone
she's pregnant ...
Soon after that Richard decides it's a good idea to leave the family in the
car & go for a stroll in the woods to smoke some weed - where he meets the
lady in white again, who starts to seduce him & when kissing bites his lips
& the last time he's seen alive is in the back of the black hearse that
also drove Brad away. Soon they find Richard's corpse on the raóadside,
boptally burned - & Laura thinks it's a good opportunity to tell Frank that
Richard was not his son, before going totally over the brink.
It's only Marion who keeps a cool head now, & she unwraps one of the
Christmas opresents they are teking with them ... a gun (which should give them
When they next stop though, the rather loonie Laura gets hold of the gun
& shoots Frank in the leg before she can be unarmed.
Driving on, Laura claims to see the ghosts of dead people in the woods ...
& at some point just jumps out of the speeding car. When Marion & Frank
stop the car to pick her up, they manage to keep the black hearse away with
gunfire ... but Laura is slowly dieing anyways ...
The remaining duo soon decides to make it through the woods on foot, but
like in a bad nightmare they end up at the car again ... & not only that,
when they drive a little further on, they come to the exact cabin they have
been hours before with the Lady in White ...
Entering the cabin, Frank thinks he sees the Lady again & agressively
attacks her, but she just vanishes & he takes out his aggression on his own
daughter knocking her unconscious, before going to the woods to hunt the Lady
in White, but only running to his own death.
Marion regains consciousness again but has to realize she's all on her own
& whatever it is is already outside the car. Driving off, it's only minutes
before the car runs out of gas, & getting out, the black hearse is already
approaching ... but the Lady in White, who appears behind her tells her it
hasn't come for Marion & gets into the hearse, when ...
Marion wakes up in the hospital ... the almost-accident at the beginning was
in fact a fatal one, hwving wiped out not only her family but also a lady in
the other car with a babgy (the lady in white), & the black hearse was
actually the car of the man (Steve Valentine) who saved her life by driving her
to the hospital ...
Good spooker, if a tad old-fashioned ... but in a good way, even if the use
of too many tried & true clichés keep it from being exceptional, &
some scenes are too directly lifted from Blair Witch Project to still
seem original. The ending though, in itself a total cliché, does please the
viewer, since instead of eventually relating the whole mystery to some
post-modern pseudo-psychological explanation (like in the flawed Identity)
a nightmarish situation is revealed to be just that - a nightmare (like in the
1945 classic Dead of Night).