December 2, 2011
"The Road" tells about a mysterious series of grisly murders that occurred on a lonely stretch of road. The story was told in three parts, spanning three decades. It starts in 2008 when three youngsters were terrorized by a driver-less red car one night when they happened to pick this particular road on which to practice driving. The story shifts to 1998, when two sisters (one of them Rhian Ramos) whose red car overheated on that same road, only to fall victims to a quiet but mentally-disturbed teenage boy (Alden Richards) who had unspeakable violent tendencies. Finally, the story shifts further back to 1988, when a child was being mentally and physically tormented by his virago of a mother (Carmina Villaroel). In the end, the story returns to 2008, when everything was tied up together.
I must say that the opening credits alone was very effective to establish the creepy atmosphere of the whole film. The music (by Swedish composer Johan Soderqvist) was so chilling as the camera follows the spooky shadows that line the titular road. The three parts all had a different kind of horror to show. In the first one, the horror is supernatural. I found the first one the best as we can really feel how helpless the three youngsters were against the vengeful ghost. The second part was scary in a more physical manner, since we can see that the antagonist was an actual psychotic killer. While the third part is more of psychological horror as we see how a little boy's delicate psyche was slowly being corrupted by his parents.
As with most horror flicks, there will be plot holes, some big ones, in fact. But I say, do not think too much, let the eerie atmosphere envelop you as director Yam Laranas tells you his stories with his well-placed camera angles and effects, as well at the amazing lighting of scenes. While the more senior actors like Carmina Villaroel, Marvin Agustin, TJ Trinidad and Rhian Ramos expectedly did well in their respective roles, I was most impressed with the talent of Renz Valerio, the child actor who played the boy in the third part. He was able to convey his gradual descent into madness so well, keeping that last chapter interesting. It is very good to learn that Yam Laranas has once again succeeded to gain the attention of the international market with this release, following his "Sigaw" (2004) which was given the Hollywood treatment as "The Echo" in 2008. "The Road" is a definite must-watch for horror movie fans!