Greetings, multos! That would be the Filipino word for “ghost”; I use it because today I shall be reviewing a Filipino horror film called The Road. This film is directed by Yam Laranas, who has directed two other horror films called The Echo (2004) and Patient X (2009), neither of which I have ever heard of because The Road was the first Filipino movie I had ever seen. In fact, it is the first Filipino film to ever have a commercial release in U.S. theaters. Although it didn’t hit the screens in my town, I was thrilled to pick it up at the local video rental store.
Our film starts out with Luis (played by TJ Trinidad), a police officer at an award ceremony in his honor. At the ceremony, a woman approaches Luis, asking about the case of her two missing daughters. This particular case is news to Luis, so he asks for her daughters’ names—Joy and Lara—and then proceeds to reopen the twelve-year-old case…
This film is split up into three parts, and each takes place in a different point in time, each exactly ten years apart from the last. The first part is set in 2008 where a teenage girl named Ella (Barbie Forteza) is convinced by her cousin, Janine (Lexi Fernandez), and Janine’s boyfriend, Brian (Derrick Monasterio), to sneak out and take her aunt’s car for a joy ride. Ella is hesitant, because it is clear that she is not fond of Brian (or at least pretends to be), and none of them have a license. She changes her mind, however, not wanting to leave the two alone to do what teenagers will do in their parent’s cars.
With Brian driving, the three begin cruising down the highway, until Brian spots a cop, causing him to panic and turn off onto a street. Ella pleads that they turn around and go home, but Brian gets out of the car and opens a gate, leading to a concealed darkened road.
The car begins to chase them, trying to run them off the road, until their pursuer swerves and crashes into the trees. They stop, getting out of the car to look at the wreck, but when they approach the car it has become ancient, as if it had been abandoned there for years, and then it bursts into flames.
The three get back into the car, driving on, but it seems they are trapped in an endless loop. When the car stalls, Janine and Brian get out to walk, but Ella insists on staying in the car, too afraid to face to open road. Cousin of the Year Janine leaves Ella behind to walk to dark road with Brian, but it isn’t long they are paying for it, as they are tormented by a ghost—a woman, with a bloody plastic bag over her head.
Part one was my favorite by far in the film. It had the feel of an urban legend and I was really diggin’ it. The other two parts take place in 1998 and 1988. In fear of running this article to long I shan’t be summarizing them to you, but at the same time it will give you all a reason to go out and see it!
For my first Filipino film, I am very pleased! I was reading user comments on the film on Get Glue, and a few people were saying that the ending was predictable, but I didn’t see it coming! Maybe I’m dumb, but I think you should see this one for yourself. I hope my fellow Americans and I get to see more Filipino films as time progresses. The Road was also released in Belgium and Singapore, as well as the Philippines (duh).
|The Balete tree is thought to be favored by spirits...|
I wonder if the filmmakers were inspired by this tale when they made the movie?