The Road (2011)
Directed by Yam Laranas
Starring: Carmina Villaroel, TJ Trinidad, Alden Richards, Rhian Ramos, Louise delos Reyes, Renz Valerio, Barbie Forteza, Lexi Fernandez, Derrick Monasterio and Marvin Agustin
Produced by GMA Films
The Road is about a 12 year-old cold case which is reopened when three teenagers are missing in an abandoned road. In the course of the investigation, deeper and gruesome stories of abduction and murders are discovered. After more than two decades, the secrets and mysteries of the road are finally revealed and the ghost lingering the dark and desolate pathway is out to make sure nobody leaves alive. (Source)
First off, this is not a horror film. Do not expect a lot of scares. And most importantly, do not expect a lot of cliche scenes that horror films from the past had done. There’s no ghost contorting her body nor a ghost floating mid air.
The best thing about this movie is its cinematography. Yam Laranas really has the eye for creating picturesque scenes. They also used state-of-the-art camera equipment so do not be surprised if you can clearly see even minute dust in the some of the scenes.
This is also one of those “quiet” movies. Around 80% of the time, all you would hear are natural sounds like the heavy breaths of the characters, the sobbing, hustling of the trees and plants, the whistling of the wind and cracks on wood. In fact one of its vital characters had about a minute of talking time.
It has a well-thought off story line and execution. There was nothing exactly new on the story as some of you may have already watched local or international films with the same theme but the way Laranas told the story made this movie different from the others.
Despite the fact that most of the actors in the movie are newbies, they all delivered in portraying their respective roles. But among the cast members, Alden Richards, Louise de los Reyes and Barbie Forteza gave the most convincing acting. Richards probably had the most difficult role because his character only has a few lines to deliver. He acted with his eyes and facial expressions. Louise de los Reyes also gave a strong performance. You would feel her suffering and pain. Barbie Forteza, though almost always screaming in her scenes, also gave a convincing performance.
The film is divided into three parts. The part closest to being a horror “flick” is the first part. This film must aptly be labeled as a psychological thriller. GMA Films and its publicists wrongly advertised this movie for reasons I understand. For one, psychological thriller genre is not typically used in local movies so Filipino moviegoers may not be interested in the film. Second reason is Pinoys are big horror fans. But making the audience expect a horror movie might lead to great disappointments from them after watching the film.
Having said so, the movie would have stand out just the same without the scare parts.
Personally, I was on the edge of my seats the whole time I was watching the movie. Maybe because I knew that this is not a horror flick and fortunately, through the years, I have learned to let go of my prejudice that Filipinos will not be able to pull off a decent mainstream film regardless of the genre.
This movie delivered.