A road-raging family man finds himself pursued and terrorized by a mad van driver in “Tailgate”

A road-raging family man finds himself pursued and terrorized by a mad van driver in "Tailgate"
Anniek Pheifer, Jeroen Spitzenberger, Roosmarijn van der Hoek, and Liz Vergeer in Bumperkleef (2019). Photo © 2018 Pief Weyman/pief.ca. All rights reserved.

Tailgate (2019), also known as Bumperkleef in its original Dutch version, is a horror-thriller about a cocksure, road-raging family man who finds himself pursued and terrorized by the vengeful van driver he chooses to tailgate.

The movie centers on Hans, his wife, and two young children, as they hit the highway on a trip to visit family. After getting stuck behind a slow-moving van, he recklessly starts to antagonize the eerily stoic driver, blaring the horn and riding his bumper. Little does he realize that he’s just crossed the wrong motorist – a deranged madman who sets out to teach Hans a lesson he’ll not soon forget. Lured into an alarming game of vehicular cat and mouse, a simple family road trip turns into a deadly obstacle course in this nerve-wracking, pulse-pounding thriller.

The movie has been written and directed by Lodewijk Crijns, who got some recognition in European film festivals with his short film Lap rouge (1996) and has also directed the features Only Decent People (2012) and Sickos (2014). The main cast is formed by Jeroen Spitzenberger, Anniek Pheifer, Roosmarijn van der Hoek, Liz Vergeer, Willem de Wolf, Truus te Selle, and Hubert Fermin.

Tailgate (2019) has been compared by the fans to the work of Dick Maas, the director of The Lift (1983), Amsterdamned (1988), Sint (2010), and Prey (2016), and sometimes referred to as the “father of Netherhorror”. But due to small distribution and almost no promotion, the movie had a very limited release in the Netherlands, having premiered at the Nederlands Film Festival, and also taken part in Sitges Film Festival and FrightFest. This year it was part of the Bilbao Fantasy Film Festival in Spain on May 8, 2021.

Tailgate (2019) is finally coming out in the USA with a theatrical and digital release on July 30, 2021, and later a DVD release on August 3, 2021. Here you can watch the official trailer.

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