No Through Road
Written by Sam Barrett and Robbie Studsor
Directed by Sam Barrett
You know that feeling that you get on those rare occasions when you discover a true hidden gem amongst all the trash in the horror genre, one that you had never even heard of? And you can't wait to go out and sing its praises to anyone who will listen? Well that's exactly how I feel, having just watched the screener to Cinema Epoch's nasty little nugget, No Through Road.
Richard is a photographer with refined tastes. While seemingly all the rest of the world is watching "footy" on the "telly", he's drinking red wine while listening to mellow jazz on the hi-fi and reading art magazines. He dozes off in his perfectly plush chair, only to be rudely awakened by a mysterious sound. A quick investigation of the property reveals Samantha, a badly frightened and brutalized woman, hiding in his closet. Richard asks her what she wants--that is to say, what is she trying to steal--but the answer is nothing.
She just needs a place to hide.
Three men, she says, chased her down in the park and raped her. And now, all three of them are outside of Richard's house. They ask politely to speak to Samantha, and when that fails, things escalate faster than the fight scene in Anchorman. With his car 'mysteriously' out of commission and his phone lines 'mysteriously' cut, Richard finds himself in the unusual position of having to fight to protect his home, his life, and his newly acquired--and frankly, unasked for--acquaintance.
And what a bloody fight it is.
The villains here are frightening and imposing in a very real sort of way. They're not psychotic, they're not mentally insane. They are just very bad, very dangerous people, and they know exactly what they are doing. Richard is the archetypal Man In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time, and then he is forced to become the Man Who Got Pushed Too Far. Samantha is the more complex character, a mysterious and morally-ambiguous woman who is more gray than black or white. You don't know whether to root for her, or to hate her for getting poor Richard into this mess.
The acting is mostly solid, the violence is shocking and brutal, and then tension is an absolutely tangible thing, all of this made even more so by a spot-on musical score that doesn't miss a beat. This film, overall, will leave you alternating between staring wide-eyed at the screen and turning your head in disgust.
I can't recommend this latest addition to the survivalist horror sub-genre enough. It's Straw Dogs in the suburbs! It's Wolf Creek in a cul-de-sac! Or, if you prefer, it's Home Alone for grown ups!
I don't care what you call it, so long as you go out and see it.
The Cinema Epoch release of No Through Road drops on September 29, 2009. It is currently ranked #59,832 in DVD's at Amazon.com. Read more about it at the IMDB, save it at Netflix, visit the official site, or pre-order it today!
"One Way In. No Way Out."