“A twelve year old cold case is reopened when three teens are missing in an abandoned road. In the course of the investigation, deeper and gruesome stories of abduction and murders are discovered. After more than two decades, the secrets of the haunted road may finally be revealed.”
It’s been a couple of week since I watched The Road. And yes, I know, this reaaction post is a wee bit late. Well, not a wee bit. But, real life takes precedence, and real life pays. Also, Christmas shopping needed to be finished before all hell starts breaking loose in malls. And that’s really not what this post is about, so why don’t we get on with it?
I had high expectations for The Road. I thought the trailers were positively thrilling, setting an amazingly creepy vibe that is reminiscient of one of director Yam Laranas’s earlier effort, Sigaw (internationally known as The Echo). And after the not-so-impressive Patient X, I was really looking forward to a truly scary film from the director. If only to prove that Sigaw was not a fluke. (No, I did not like the Sigaw Hollywood remake.)
In many ways, The Road is so much better than Patient X. And yes, I really am comparing the two movies. Laranas knows eerie like no other director in the Philippines, and he successfully sets the right tone throughout the whole film–even the parts where nothing scary eventually happens. The mood is right. The mood is perfect. The lights, the sounds, the frames–I can say nothing bad about how the director set the whole thing. Laranas is amazing at scaring you out of your wits even before the horror begins.
But there are two things that really bugs me about the film–both of them plot points. One, how did Brian (Derrick Monasterio) die? In the first part of the movie, we get a reasonable excuse on how one teen died: she hit her head hard on the wheel/window. But we don’t find out why Brian just dropped dead. Two, we find out through the time jump that Luis (Alden Richards) is the one that caused for the titular road to be haunted. And while the development from the kid Luis (Renz Valerio) to the teen version needed no explation, his jump into his present form was very jarring. I’m sure there’s an explanation how he became who he is now–which I felt was sacrificed so the movie could keep it’s twist that you could see as soon as the movie starts anyway. Well, not as soon as the movie starts–but rather, as soon as they introduce the present form of Luis’s character.
I still have one more nitpick, but it doesn’t really affect one’s enjoyment of the film. I’m just writing it down because I really can’t believe the post-production people didn’t notice it. Our present time in the film is 2008. A case is presented in this present time that is said to be twelve years old. And then we jump back to 1998 when the presented case happened. I just shake my head at this mistake.
Overall, The Road is a solid film. It’s not at par with Sigaw though, as that movie manages to make you overlook its faults out of sheer awesomeness. But The Road isn’t half bad. And it’s not a waste of money. Just be sure to watch it with someone else, as you would want to talk about the film afterwards.