|Suspenseful Film That Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat|
Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Nick Smith, Munger Road is an intense, suspenseful thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat while keeping a story where two paths collide into one.
One story follows a group of teenagers hanging out on a weekend. When the guys decide to try and impress their girlfriends, they take them to Munger Road, the site of an urban legend. The legend is that a group of school children died when their bus got stuck on the train tracks and was hit by a train. Legend says if you park your car on the tracks and put it in neutral, the ghosts of the dead children will push your car off the road to save you.
The other story involves Chief Kirkhoven, the police chief of the small town of Saint Charles, IL. He receives a fax stating a murderer from the town has escaped prison. Kirkhoven and Deputy Hendricks go on patrol to local spots in the area the murderer was known to inhabit.
The acting in Munger Road is nothing special, though Bruce Davison's performance as Chief Kirkhoven is the highlight of the film. It's not that the other actors are terrible, but they all play roles we've seen in countless horror movies before. At the very least, they play their parts in a more believable fashion than most actors in horror films do. We sense their terror and the acting isn't over the top.
Munger Road's strength lies in its ability to create and maintain suspense. The story starts out with usual jump scares, but the real tension comes in the later parts of the film. There is no gore/blood and the horror is mostly psychological. We sense the chief's urgency to find and catch the loose murderer before more innocent people are hurt. The teenagers' terror feels real and the use of a video camera helps heighten the suspense. While some might think the PG-13 rating would hurt this film, it's focus on suspense rather than gore doesn't affect the quality.
Munger Road takes cues from other horror movies such as Halloween, The Blair Witch Project, and Paranormal Activity. All of these films used a low budget, basic premise and very few well known actors. It doesn't bring anything innovative to the table but what it does bring is exciting. The film was shot over 18 nights and done on an estimated budget of $30,000, although no actual figure has been given. Another interesting fact is that the score was done without ever seeing the film. Despite this fact, the score works well and helps amp up the suspense.
The film does end with a bit of a plot twist that could set the stage for a sequel. I'm not sure if this will happen, but I would definitely look forward to more from Nick Smith if he can continue to bring this kind of tension to the horror genre. Munger Road is available to save in your Netflix queue now, and I highly recommend watching this when it comes around.
|review||Suspenseful Film That Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat (4 out of 5)||rem25|