First Glimpse: Roadside

Release date: TBA pending distribution

Directed by Eric England

What can I say? The one-sheet for Roadside is kinda neat, I’ll give it that. Note I only said “kinda.” That’s because on closer inspection I see that the font is the same goofy one I use for my hardly-updated blog, and the tagline… well, it falls pretty flat. Aren't those things supposed to pique interest? “Your car is running... leave when you like.” So polite! I predict the victims will make a series of bad decisions, yet somehow emerge triumphant. With a tagline that friendly how could the main characters be brutally murdered?

England, the director, brings viewers a lot of recycled ideas here, and it doesn't look like there’s a hint of originality. Dan and pregnant wife Mindy are driving through the deep dark woods to get to his brother’s house for the holidays when suddenly: crazed sniper wants to play a game. Now, I’m all for recycled horror tropes as long as there’s a good sense of tension, a few jump scenes I didn't see coming a mile away, and a charismatic villain. We don’t see much of Roadside’s villain, just a shadow in a fur-lined parka, but we do hear him. Now, if I was filming a low-budget horror flick whose bad guy is heard but not seen, I might try to find an actor who could mimic the dulcet tones of say, Michael Rooker. Oh Roadside, how can I take you seriously when your crazed killer sounds like he’s in the sound studio recording his best imitation of HAL 9000?

Roadside is looking for a distributor right now, probably desperately, considering it’s being marketed as a holiday horror film. I see it heading toward VOD, but if you are looking for this type of film, and Roadside actually makes it to a theater near you… Watch any of these instead: Dead End, The Vanishing, The Sniper, Duel, Breakdown, Ils, Severance… you get the idea.

Verdict:





By Kiki McGraw

3 comments:

  1. Kiki,

    I'm sorry you think my film looks generic and un-eventful, but I would urge you not to judge a book its cover. You see, Roadside was made to play against the "we're stuck on the road because we made bad decisions" types of films. Roadside happens to a couple of married adults (not drunk, sexy teens) who have solid jobs and are actually really down to Earth people. They're held hostage by a man they can't see (not some guy chasing them through the woods). They're stuck on a road they've traveled on thousands of times (says so in the trailer) and with their car running and cell phone reception the entire film. I think that sounds pretty original to me. In fact, it's the opposite of most films I've seen.

    Also, we're not "desperately" looking for a distributor right now. We actually have a quite a lot of interest, in fact. Your comment is nothing more than an attempted insult, which unfortunately has no validity. I'd urge you in the future to not try and cast such negative judgement on a film you haven't seen yet and only watch with "cliched" eyes. Look past the surface to see what might be a solid movie made for very little money by promising young filmmakers.

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  2. Mr. England -

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my First Glimpse review of your film. My apologies if you feel my comments are solely here to be mean-spirited or malicious. That is truly not my intention.

    That said, it IS my job to judge a book by its cover - in this case, offer commentary on a film trailer with little or no prior knowledge about the film or its provenance. I watch ~2:30 of the film and review it on a thumbs up or down basis. Sometimes I will be right about my gut feeling, sometimes I will be wrong... but I try to give an honest account of my initial reaction.

    Best of luck with Madison County, Roadside, and future endeavours.

    -K.M.

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  3. I think "Roadside" looks very good. I like the "claustrophobic" feel, and that you did not take the mundane "road" (so to speak), done to death, lost-in-the-middle of nowhere, sexy half-dressed screaming females and over-the-top macho guys, on the way to a party in an uncle's cabin genre. Whew! Did I get it all in? Will definitely look for it! Good Job!

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