Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Half Arsed Review : YellowBrickRoad

If you're looking for a well thought out, dark and foreboding (and more importantly, scary) horror film, then this film isn't for you.

If however you are looking for a surreal mystery headf**k of a movie, that never apologises for the fact it has less knowledge about the events of the movie than the viewers, then give this a whirl.

The set-up is pretty good: The population of a small town got dressed in their finest outfits and then all left to walk on "The Trail", some of them were found later, frozen to death or succumbed to some form of brutal murder, but others are still unaccounted for. The one lone survivor's voice is played to you at the beginning of the movie where he keeps asking if the interviewers can hear the noise...

What follows is bizarre to say the least. A team of would be investigators go off to the town where it all happened, the locals aren't best pleased to see them, apart from one who is desperate to come with them. The deal is struck, she shows them where the trail starts and she gets to tag along to their certain deaths.

I hate to say it as the found footage market is over-saturated, but this is a movie that would have worked better as a found footage mockumentary. Instead it's filmed like any other horror, which works okay, but the whole mystery of what happened (and ending) would have been better being left even more obscure.

For most of the movie I wondered if the main guy was actually the same actor who played Shane from The Walking Dead... it annoyed me so much that I IMDB'D the SOB, and found out that no. It wasn't. They're not even related. But in some shots, he looks just like him. So I've saved you some frustration there.

Spot the difference?

Speaking of the actors, they're all adequate. None of them pull an Oscar performance out of their ass but none of them are dreadful.

So the first half of the movie is just them walking. Walking on the trail, stopping to have interviews with the behavioural psychologist who is tagging along to make sure he documents their deaths... I mean, mental state.

Suddenly they start hearing music and before you can say "Oh my god, this music sounds really messed up and I'm not sure we should be continuing" one of them is dead. This act of violence was signposted for me, as the increased tensions in the group and the fact that this particular pair seemed more annoyed at each other than anyone else, suggested they'd be the first to go. I even knew what would spark the fatal argument off... I didn't however expect the act of violence that occurred to happen. It was so unexpected, what was done, not when, that I just stared at the screen with my jaw slightly unhinged.

The rest of the movie, especially the end, I realised that my mouth was never fully closed, as my brain was frantically trying to process exactly what was happening on the screen. The music that was playing became worse as they progressed and the actors did a good job of portraying their reactions to certain parts of the sound collage.

Did I enjoy the film? Well, yes and no. I enjoyed the theme and surrealistic nature of the whole movie, but couldn't help feeling that they could have used some more scares.

The film Rubber was a nod to all films that had "No Reason" in it, and this movie wreaks of No Reason. So if you like your movies unexplained and messed up, then take a look at this (free on lovefilm player atm) but if not then skip this movie like it's your gcse year and you've got double science (which you haven't done your course work for) this afternoon.

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