September 6, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Munger Road'

Munger Road (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Every town, it would seem, has a Munger Road. You know the road, it’s the one that’s a bit off the beaten track, is spooky as hell and is haunted, and kids tell tales of the grisly events that no doubt happened there. In the case of Munger Road it is the ghosts of the victims of an accident where a train hit a stalled bus. Of course, when there are such urban legends kids want to investigate them. Such is part of the premise of this film.

Munger Road is broken into two distinct plot strands, which do converge eventually. The first follows two couples as they head down Munger Road to investigate, and hopefully document on film, the legend that surrounds this road. The other story concerns police searching for an escaped killer that could be heading to town, just in time for the annual Scarecrow Festival.

This really was a strange film to watch, for several reasons. The parts with the kids is pretty well done, there is an element of fear surrounding the events in their car and director Nicolas Smith does a good job of not revealing too much too soon. Sure, the plot has been done before, and the characters came across as a little annoying, but there were some decent elements about it. The use of their camera being employed for some found footage style work was used effectively, but sparingly, especially in one particular scene.

On the flipside of this, the story concerning the two cops, yes just two, searching for the escaped murderer seemed to amble along with no real urgency. Apparently the city’s police budget didn’t allow for a full scale manhunt, even though it is made clear that they want him caught before the festival starts.

As I mentioned, the two stories do eventually converge, and this is probably my biggest gripe with the film. To say that the final 10 minutes or so are frustrating would be a mild understatement. Too much faith in put in the viewers’ interest level in the story, and as such I can see this being a point of frustration for many viewers.

Overall, Munger Road did have its enjoyable moments, and a few creepy ones. The violence is pretty much kept off screen; although we are left in no doubt that it does occur. Where the film could have been dramatically improved would be in the script department. There were some good ideas that weren’t fleshed out enough, and the film came across as disjointed and ultimately unfulfilling.

Munger Road is released on DVD, Digital and VOD on September 11th.

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