If I watch a horror film, and that isn’t often, I prefer it to be of the supernatural kind. I don’t like ultra violent gorno films such as the Hostel franchise as I’ve always maintained that the less blood in a horror film the scarier I tend to find it.
Even though horror isn’t really my genre if someone takes the time to recommend a film that under normal circumstances would pass my by I will seek it out. YellowBrickRoad is one of those movies.
PLOT: In 1940 the inhabitants of Friar, New Hampshire, left their town and walked into the thick surrounding forest for no apparent reason. After a wide scale search many of the bodies were found murdered or frozen although the vast majority remained unaccounted for. Despite the story passing into legend husband and wife authors Teddy (Michael Laurino) and Melissa (Anessa Ramsey) Barnes lead a team into the forest to retrace the “YellowBrickRoad” and discover where the townspeople were headed and why. END PLOT
The concept of YellowBrickRoad is decent – the opening credits give the back story of Friar then after a brief round table introduction to the characters we head straight into the forest.
The characters don’t get much development but I can remember all their names thirty minutes after the final credits have rolled. The key point with these characters is that at the start of their journey they are all sane individuals but as they walk deeper into the forest they start to unravel and suffer murderous fits of rage and insanity.
I started watching YellowBrickRoad with the belief that it would turn out to be yet another gory horror flick. This isn’t what I got as the film turned out to be more of a psychological thriller. The tension slowly builds and like the characters I had no idea what was happening or why. The unknown element of YellowBrickRoad does make for some unsettling viewing.
I don’t mind when films end openly with unanswered questions especially when the set up is so engaging. I didn’t like the ending of YellowBrickRoad as it took the answered questions into "What the Fuck" territory which was frankly one yellow brick too far. I didn’t like the final scenes and if I were editing it I know the exact moment I would have ended the film.
YellowBrickRoad is written and directed by first timers on a budget of $500,000.00 (IMDB) and you almost have to give it extra credit for they almost pulled of ninety minutes of pure mind-fuck. It gets a generous 8/10.
It's when I watch films like YellowBrickRoad I do have to wonder just how big a kick up the arse I need to make me sit down and just write something.