Written & Directed by Yam Laranas
Starring: Carmina Villaroel, Rhian Ramos, and TJ Trinidad
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.
The Road delivers up a classic three chapter tale about ghostly revenge over a twenty year span from 1988 to 2008. Beginning in 2008, we see a lone traveler pull over on a deserted road, where he kills himself with a bullet to the head. The three separate but interwoven chapters give us a backwards run down that taps into the origin of one person’s overwhelming pain and shame.
The Roads begins with three teens joyriding on an isolated road. Somewhere between fun and excitement, their evening takes an unfortunate turn. A mysterious car begins to follow them and it would appear that the driver is missing. A ghostly passenger give the teens a closer look, revealing a twisted visage of death that doesn’t feel compelled to remain inside the car. The growing tension of the opening chapter sets the viewer up for the remainder of the film. One of the most terrifying aspects of the movie is that the viewer isn’t always sure what they’re seeing. I’ve never seen a plastic bag take on such sheer terror before. Over the course of the film, the origin of the haunting is exposed, adding a twist on a twist before it’s all said and done.
The Road is both hypnotic and boring at times, tantalizing the viewer with horror promise and taking its sweet time to deliver the goods. Wholly indulgent and taking plenty of time for character development, this Spanish subtitled and Philippine-made entry is a welcome addition to the ghost genre. Worth mentioning is the creative and effective opening title sequence that sets up the visual treats in store for the viewer. Perfectly scored and filled with atmospheric hits. The Road delivers on many levels. It’s even a little hard to watch at times, cementing its ability to make human suffering such an inherently evil thing. While nothing new is going on here, it is worth the watch, especially if you like The Echo, also directed by Laranas.