Film #9: YELLOWBRICKROAD
3 out of 5 stars
At the outset, I will say that I am not a fan of such things as THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. In fact, I hated it. So, it kind of surprised me that I actually sort of liked YELLOWBRICKROAD (which is rather similar in both tone and storyline). The tale of a group of people who head off into the woods in order to document an eerie happening from the past, both films strive for the slow-to-build-creep-out. IMO though, BWP fails due to the utter unlikeability of its characters. YELLOWBRICKROAD, on the other hand, offers some clearly defined professionals (teachers, psychologists, map makers) who become lost not through their own incompetence, but because something really is very wrong out in them thar woods. The film is overly long - at ~two hours and thirty minutes could have EASILY been cut out of the film‘s runtime, but the groups descent into madness is a slowly tightening noose that creates a palpably creepy atmosphere. The acting is ok and the direction competent, but it is with the use of some interesting sound design and by taking the “haunted house” formula out of the house and into the forest, a fun little flick slowly presents itself. Oh, and keep an eye out for one particular FX shot that is truly stupendous. Fun… a little long and the ending falters, but still an interesting take on an old formula.