Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Road (2011)
Not to be confused with the post-apocalyptic dramatic thriller starring Viggo Mortenson, The Road is a Filipino production that is short on scares and long on tedium. The film starts out with an interesting premise: a long ago abandoned road that is notorious for its history of gruesome murders reopens and becomes the epicenter for three teens who have gone missing. But slowly and painfully it devolves into a long, drawn out affair as we alternate between multiple time periods that attempt to shed light on its bloody past and then bring us back into the modern day.
Our story begins in the present as a still hopeful mother approaches a newly appointed police chief and begs him to take a look at the old unsolved case of her missing daughter and niece. They took a trip along the road and were never seen again. The police chief agrees despite some discouragement from his peers who decided to close the case after the investigative trail went cold.
That night, a young girl, her boyfriend, and cousin decide to take the family car out for a joyride. The boyfriend, being the headstrong, young and carefree teen that he is, decides to break through the barricade of this abandoned road which locals all agree is a guaranteed one way ticket to hell. Sure enough, things turn hairy quickly as a ghost car appears alongside them and many a specter appear in their path and force them off to the side. Injured, they try and take shelter in and abandoned house. Or is it?
The rest of the film focuses on two other time periods: one that involves the long missing family members of the woman at the beginning of our story who run into a teenage boy along the road and the other, his back story of how he grew up at the hands of an abusive mother. And he just so happens to be the main driving force behind the infamy of this storied road.
The problem with the film is that it spends way too long on the exposition of this character, focusing first on him being a cold, sadistic, teenage killer and then how he grew up in an abusive household . The abusive mother certainly was enough of an impetus for him to go completely out of his mind but his continued residence along the road and future killings doesn't feel real or justifiable (if that makes any sense). The overexposed history of this boy takes the mystery and true horror out of the film and completely zaps any and all momentum. And by the time the 'twist ' hits (which you see coming a mile away) you're just begging for the film to end. This 1 hr. and 50 min. borefest could have benefited from some serious editing.
This road is paved with minimal scares, uninteresting kills (think Saw-lite), and extreme boredom. 'Tis a shame. This one looked like it had a lot of potential.
Cortez the Killer