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.
By Kiki McGraw