Saturday, October 6, 2012


An expedition attempts to discover the mystery of the "Yellow Brick Road," a trail on which the entire population of a small town disappeared many years ago. What they discover is that some sort of malicious force (perhaps the trail itself) has the power to drive people insane and keep them lost forever.

Not a lot to say about this one, but it was a reasonably well-made film with a nifty premise and a handful of standout scenes. I particularly like the way everyone starts to lose their mind; it's slow but begins almost immediately, and nobody really seems to notice because they are going crazy, too. The characters are reasonably well developed, so there is a sense of impact when they start killing each other/themeselves/etc.

Unfortunately, the premise runs out of steam after a while; there are only so many scenes you can watch of people losing their shit over strange sounds and music, begin acting illogically and start turning against each other, before it grows a little repetitive. And the ending is a let down too; my feeling is they should have simply left it open-ended, but instead they attempt to have their cake and eat it too, via some KMart surrealism that tries to both explain and not explain what was going on. Better to have left it all unsaid. It's not helped by the occasional terrible special effects.

Rating: B-

1 comment:

Shenan said...

I liked this one a lot, to the point where it might have been one of my favorites so far (and maybe just because I have a lot of camping experience in the White Mountains so I dug the setting, which is an under-explored region in horror movies I feel like!), except that I agree that the ending was pretty terrible. The vast, unknowable, ambiguous, and unsympathetic nature of...well, nature is really enough to end on in and of itself. It really could have capitalized on the same horror created in ABSENTIA based around the seeming randomness and non-sensicalness of unexplained disappearances, from the angle of how even those of us who are as connected as humans can be to the land we've lived on for generations are still detached from it on some level, still subject to misunderstand it, or never understand it, and be subject to its random violence and terror which we'll never fully understand.

And also, one thing I wish they'd used throughout that's a perfect natural resource for horror movies set in northern New Hampshire is loons! They have the most haunting calls at night. I mean, have you ever heard a loon? The entire soundtrack could have been that creepy music and loon calls, and it would have been terrific.