November 1, 2011

Filthy Review - YellowBrickRoad

YellowBrickRoad (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

Sticking a group of people, they don’t have to consist solely of dumb kids, in the middle of nowhere is never a good idea, and very rarely does it turn out well for them. It’s been a staple of horror films for years, but don’t switch of just yet, because once in a while some crazy fool comes up with a new idea that makes it seem fresh again. Such is the case with YellowBrickRoad. In fact the writing/directing team of Andy Mitton and Jess Holland have crafted a movie that has me still thinking about it over a day after watching it.

Of course, many films will have you thinking about them and reflecting on what you have seen for some time after the credits roll. It is far more rare though to have one that really makes you think about what you see, and indeed question what you see.

Way back in 1940 the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire all decided to head off up a trail into the woods and beyond (the population was only 257 or so) never to be seen alive again. There was just the one survivor, but he didn’t make much sense when questioned about what had happened.

Fast forward 70 years and Teddy Barnes and his team decide to head on out to Friar and follow, follow, follow, follow the trail and see if they can’t find out what happened. To say any more would be unfair to those who have yet to see this hallucinatory and disorientating horror film.

YellowBrickRoad is one of those strange gems that has elements of other films in it, yet remains very distinctly its own movie. If I were to describe it I might say to imagine a hybrid of The Blair Witch Project, Silent Hill and something like Shrooms, but even then it probably wouldn’t do it justice.

The movie certainly isn’t an action-packed affair, instead it is happy to meander in and around the vast wilderness the team explore, and slowly finds itself getting under your skin. Unexpected and startling scenes of violence punctuate the movie,and whilst they are at times fairly gory they never seem out of place and only serve to heighten the movie’s surreal atmosphere.

The cast are all pretty much spot on in their roles and seem to fully embrace what the directors wanted of them. Each character reacts in their own way to the journey they take and nothing that happens could ever be seen as predictable. For that we have to thank the aforementioned Mitton and Holland , who for first time directors have really nailed a quality horror yarn. The visuals and audio marry together to create a wonderful atmosphere that is in turn creepy and exhilarating.

To say that I enjoyed YellowBrickRoad would be understating it mildly. It is the sort of movie that is best watched with little to no knowledge of it, aside from the basic outline, and then just let it wash over you. I guarantee you will be mulling it over for days after watching it. There might not be any wicked witches down this yellow brick road but it will still put you under its spell.

YellowBrickRoad is available now on DVD as part of the Bloody Disgusting Selects collection released by Vivendi Entertainment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds great I have been wondering about this one, I have heard nothing but good news about it. Great review.