The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it has absolutely nothing to do with Jack The Ripper, and little to do with the Grim Reaper. With that out of the way, here's what you get: a group of high school students are involved in a bus accident in the desert, where, off in the distance, they see a carnival. When they go for help, they find something more sinister waiting. In all likelihood you will be turned off to this film almost instantly by the atrocious acting (though, mercifully, the pregnant girl from an early scene never reappears, so take solace in that). The special effects are pretty bad, but they are actually not used too much, so this is more a minor issue for me. If you can get past these couple things, you may find a bit of enjoyment in the film as it feels sort of like a throwback film. There isn't a ton of blood and gore, and all the death scenes happen off screen via quick cuts, so that may frustrate you in the same way many films from the 1980s did. The group of students also reeks of horror movie cliché--you have the jerk jock guy, his black guy with a good heart best friend, the girl who wants the jock, the sensitive guy, the stuck up girl, the fat kid--you get the picture--but they also throw in a deaf girl and a boy who looks like Powder from the movie of the same name, so there's that.
The plot is filled with holes and the characters make some of the stupidest decisions one can imagine. The movie continues to rely on horror clichés with its good on paper but poorly executed twist ending. But not all is bad: the villain at the end of the movie is fairly well done and scary for such a low budget film, and I am sort of a sucker for films set in carnival atmospheres, so that earns it some points. The best part of the film, however, is the appearance of Tony Todd as the creepy guy warning the kids of their impending doom--sadly, he is only appears in an extended cameo.
This is a take it or leave it kind of film, and your enjoyment level will largely depend on your expectations of it, as well as your mood when viewing it. My girlfriend seemed absolutely tortured watching this, so I probably enjoyed it more than I should have.
On A Scale of One To Ten: 4