What Fil-Horror? (Part 2)/ The Road Movie Review
You could see part 1 here.
Okay. First of all, when I said I was going to watch the movie “soon”, I meant “soon” as in right after I made that post. So tadaaaaaaa, I have instant movie feedback for you guys.
IMDb: “A 12 year old cold case is reopened when three teens are missing in an old abandoned road where a gruesome murder is left undiscovered for three decades.”
Directed by: Yam Laranas
Cast: Carmina Villaroel, Rhian Ramos and TJ Trinidad
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 71%
Directed by Yam Laranas, a familiar face in the Phil. Filmmaking industry yet a fresh name in the Hollywood business, has recently created “The Road”, the first Filipino movie released in mainstream US cinemas. It received good feedback from critics.
It’s a three-part feature, each ranging a ten-year gap from the previous. All of them are intricately connected to form a haunting film that keeps you on your feet, thirsting for more.
The prologue starts with an unknown man committing suicide in his car at what appears to be a desolate and quiet street. The scene then shifts to Luis (TJ Trinidad), a policeman who had been awarded for mastery of his craft. His attention is called by a woman (Jacklyn Jose) who inquires about her daughters, missing for about twelve years now. He is intrigued and sets off to investigate on the case.
Part 1: 2008
Ella (Barbie Forteza), along with her cousin Janine (Lexi Fernandez) and Janine’s boyfriend Brian (Derrick Monasterio) sneaks out for driving lessons. This leads them to pass through a closed road, and things get worse from that point on.
This part was where the “scare” factor was delivered. Ghosts and random shit show up out of nowhere, just like a typical Filipino horror flick. Did they make me turn my speaker’s volume down? Yes. Did I have nightmares after watching it? No, as much as it would’ve been reasonable to since I watched it all alone in the dark. It makes you wonder though.
The actors were very believable, and the characters they portray aren’t stereotypical stupid teenagers. I kind of wanted to root for them to survive, if it wasn’t for the slow pacing. The slow pacing made me feel like I was already an hour into the film, but it was completely understandable knowing Laranas wanted to concentrate on all the details of the story. Okay, onto the next part of the movie!
Part II: 1998
Lara (Rhian Ramos) is driving with her younger sister Joy (Louise delos Reyes) on the same road (As Part 1). Their car overheats so they ask a teenage boy walking along the road (Alden Richards) where they can get water. The quiet boy leads them to his house, and this is supposed to be a ‘No Spoiler’ review, so let’s just say I didn’t expect what was to happen next.
At first glance, this appears to have no relation to Part I, but if you’re observant enough, things begin to make sense. I couldn’t care less about the pacing anymore since I was enthralled by the story.
While making my previous post, I thought about how Filipino movies should start fresh on the horror genre by featuring ‘Torture Porn’. I could say the first ten minutes of this part showed what I called gore. Not too much though, we don’t wanna lose track of the story.
You might be thinking “Wha-what? But the first part was about ghosts, how could this one be ‘torture porn’ and still be related to the other one?” The story doesn’t stop there. Elements of ghosts and spirits still appear in this part of the film. This was a sad one, quite darker than the 2008 part. I wanted to cry, I wanted to rejoice, my feelings were all over the place.
Ending this part, I thought I’d figured out the relationship between the prologue, part I, and this one. But wait, there’s more.
Part III – 1988
Remember the teenage dude from Part II? Well, this part shows his childhood. Full-on drama, while still showing suspense and not forgetting the elements of ghosts. This was just sad. Like really really sad. It was depressing. I wanted to cry a river. I wanted to lock myself in the closet and hang myself. *Pun intended* Life sucks. Everything sucks.
This is where I finally get the connection of everything in the movie. I didn’t need to search for the explanation of things in Wikipedia (I consider this an achievement), then boom! The last few minutes of the film hit me straight in the balls. It’s like you think you know what would happen next, but begin to have doubts, then what you think would happen next IS what would happen next, but you still feel shocked. It was just one big mindfuck, really. I could say the ending was satisfying. It leaves a few questions unanswered, but not to the point where it make you pluck your eyebrows out of desperation of wanting to know the answers. It also manages to balance the horror movie elements of Fil-Horror (Stop making Fil-Horror happen, Gem.) that I love, but at the same time creates a new standard for these films.
Horror Element Meter (Do I still need to put this?)
None. Filipinos aren’t wild like that. (Speaking of which, I have never seen a Filipino horror movie w/c contains sex)
Consistent amounts. They’re all censored though, so in second thought, I don’t really consider it ‘torture porn’ (Bummer.)
Barbie Forteza stated the word “gago” a lot of times lol it makes me amused okay.
Rating: 4 stars