The fundamental requirements of a good horror movie are plot, cast, music and cinematography. A film may have all those but these days, one has to exceed fundamentals to earn the nods of the modern-day moviegoers, the erudite and critical ones.

 

To whether Yam Laranas’ The Road earned our nods, read on to find out!

Yam Laranas brilliant visualizations subjugated the film with an atmospheric and stylish cinematography. From the way some parts looked, Laranas surely knows how to play well with his camera. From focus, still shots, time lapses, and wide camera angles, Laranas has all these elements to build up scares and intrigue for the remaining parts of the film.

Excellent lighting lit The Road which was dimmed by dusts and tall trees at night while a striking midday shot was lit up by the glaring sun. I am ultimately fascinated, however, by the blurry first-person vision shots on The Road. It gives mystery and makes you feel as though you were inside the car while an entity slowly reveals itself in front of you. It was one of the best and scariest parts of the film!

From a traditional ghost story the movie sooner evolved into a psychological thriller which sustains creepy supernatural tension without relying on overrated jump-scares and other horror cliches.

Since The Ring, the Asian Horror Movie scene ousted Hollywood by using phobias as the best scare tactic for the audience. You know? Hair-covered ghosts, creepy kids, hand jump scares, etc. But sooner the trend went mad that they all ended up becoming yet another set of infamous horror clichés. It may be an effective way to build up scares, but Yam Laranas insisted to welcome change and has effectively created his own style of terror.

Things became gradually interesting and at the same time disturbing in the later parts of the movie. I personally liked the part where Rhian’s world turned upside down as she found herself locked up inside a room. The rotating of the camera did not only prove it’s dizzying to wake up after having been hit at the back but proves a first person’s vision can do so much cinematically.

All of the cast gave splendid performances and I was surprise that the tween’s did some great acting job in the film. I liked the acting of Rhian Ramos, Tj Trinidad, Marvin Agustin and most especially Carmina Villaroel which made the psycho’s back story more interesting and terrifying.

Plot-wise, the movie is slick and a brilliantly crafted ghost story. My only gripe is that, some deaths happened so fast that there was no room to explain why they just suddenly die.  With the music scored by the great Johan Söderqvist, and was directed by an international director (Yam Laranas), The Road movie is undoubtedly one of the best Filipino horror movies I’ve seen to date!  One with international feel and has a great twist in the end!