Wes Craven certainly generates a reasonable tension, agoraphobically constricting the film to a single stretch of road. However, the film loses atmosphere when it gets to the scenes with the family fighting back and it changes its nature from a primal attack film into more of an action piece. It becomes repetitive...1000 Misspent Hours calls it
the finest movie about cannibals ever made by an American director, the pinnacle of Craven’s career, and one of my five favorite horror flicks of all timeSenses of Cinema says it
warrants serious consideration as one of the richest and most perfectly realized films of Craven’s career to date, a career which spans 40 years and counting.The author of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die wrote the Senses of Cinema review and includes this film in his book. DVD Talk says it "is no less effective today than when it was released in 1977." Slant Magazine gives it 2 1/2 out of 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 64%.