Movie Review – The Road (2011)

The Road (2011) is a Filipino psychological horror directed by Yam Laranas. It is a non-sequential ghost story which concerns a number of deaths along a remote road, taking the viewer from 2008 to 1998 and finally to 1988, essentially telling a Norman Bates-style tale in reverse. This makes for some interesting storytelling techniques, such as revealing the origins of ghosts as the film goes on, and it succeeds in displaying some nice cinematography and some genuinely creepy imagery.

Unfortunately, whatever dread is conjured is regularly dispelled by awkward editing, two-dimensional characters, and a chronology that can become confusing. This isn’t helped by failure of basic math, for in the opening scenes, which take place in 2008, we learn of a twelve-year-old cold case file of two girls who went missing in 1998. Read that last sentence again – those years are correct, there isn’t a typo. Suspense is lost as the film continues, and is lost entirely in a highly improbable twist ending that viewers will not only see coming, but will be left scratching their heads at just how they’re supposed to swallow what the filmmaker tried feeding them.

The Road is a film with great elements that never coalesce into a satisfying whole. Sure, the scenery is nice, but the potholes make for a rough ride.

Grade: C-

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