When you start out a movie with a text crawl, you catch my attention most every time. See, there’s this old principle in writing called a “brick”, so named for the old comic strip Krazy Kat. And in same, this mouse by the name of Ignatz was constantly hucking bricks at the titular cat because he was in love with her. And in writing terms, the “brick” is something you use to catch a reader’s attention right from go. That’s what a text crawl often does, at least for me, and that’s why I definitely started off liking Yellowbrickroad, which the folks out at Bloody-Disgusting sent over. Thankfully, they could keep up with what they started.
Yellowbrickroad follows a mysterious story of the town of Friar, NH, which was host to a bizarre incident back in the 1940s. I’ll explain more about that in a minute. But suffice it to say that, in the future, the records behind the incident were declassified, and the coordinates of the town of Friar were released along with them. Now, an expedition is launched to find out just what happened, and the results are more bizarre than most could imagine.
But the title crawl that caught my attention so well? It went like this: “One morning in 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH, walked north up an unmarked trail into the wilderness. Some were later found frozen to death. Others were mysteriously slaughtered. Most, however, were never found. Among the classified records is this audio recording of a lone survivor, conducted at the outset of investigation.”
Creepy? You’d better believe it. A pretty impressive bit of creepy, when you come right down to it. And watching it reveals a pretty well set up affair, with just enough exposition tossed in at just the right times to keep the whole thing moving and sufficiently compelling to hold interest throughout.
Watching these people break down slowly on their expedition, even as we have no idea what’s going on, is especially unnerving, and leaves the whole movie to be a deeply nerve-wracking, chilling experience. It may not have a whole lot in the way of shocks, but this atmospheric chiller is a thing of beauty. Bloody-Disgusting’s really got a winner on their hands with this one. I thought their earlier Rammbock was pretty good stuff, but it was too short. Yellowbrickroad is everything Rammbock was and then some.
The Screenhead Ten Scale gives Yellowbrickroad a ten out of ten for being a deliciously creepy romp that’s occasionally tough to follow but well worth your time to watch. You won’t be able to catch this until June 1st, and even then in limited theaters only, but man, will you ever want to get your head around this one if you have any taste for horror at all.