Monday, January 23, 2017

Toad Road (2012)

(3 out of 5)

Toad Road (2012)
directed by:  Jason Banker
starring:  James Davidson, Sara Jones, Whitleigh Higuera, Jamie Siebold, Donnie Simmons, Scott Radar

     Talk about a disappointment.  I read many positive reviews on this film and perhaps I'm letting the hype get to me but this film was a big let down for me.  I usually enjoy films like this.  Reality based, excellent dialogue, I really cannot blame the writing at all.  My expectations were to be scared in some shape or form.  The movies it's been compared with were scary to me including The Blair Witch Project which is named on the cover.  This one fell completely short in that regards.  More of a bad trip than some entity out to get you in the woods.  I think if I had I not read anything about this film I would have liked it more.  Like I said the writing was perfect, the acting was well done no complaints there either.  Most especially James Davidson and Sara Jones.  These two had a very distinct connection while acting together in this film.  The digital effects for the "gateway" to hell and other scenes were very cool as well.  There were not a lot of effects in this movie but what there were worked very well with the shots.  I also loved the shots, the camera work was visually creative in every sense of the word.  I will be looking into more by the director.
     The movie follows a group of youths who imbibe every drug they can get their hands on.  Two in particular James and Sara who have fallen in love and want to run away together.  Sara is a good girl with straight A's in school until she meets James and his friends.  It isn't long before her life is spiraling out of control much like them and her new boyfriend.  Then James begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel and wants out.  Problem is he told Sara of this urban legend involving seven gates leading to hell.  "No one has ever got past the fifth gate."  Sara tells him trying to egg on her reluctant boyfriend who dismisses the whole thing as pure mythology. 
     All of a sudden Sara disappears not long after taking LSD with James and talking the walk down "Toad Road" the pathway through the 7 gates.  Days pass and James wakes up alone in the woods.  Or had it been days?  And was he really there the whole time?  The mystery is in the head of the viewer.  That part I liked but I just wanted more in the creepy department.  The walk down the road especially was just a bit of let down.  I have a feeling this one will grow on me possibly in the future after a second viewing but my initial response was definitely a disappointment.  Kudos to the actors and the writing of Jason Banker.   

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