1940: the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire walked up a winding mountain trail, leaving everything behind. 2008: the first official expedition into the wilderness attempts to solve the mystery of the lost citizens of Friar.
One Morning in New England, 1940, the entire population of Friar New Hampshire - 572 people - walked together up a winding mountain trail and into the wilderness. They left behind their clothes, their money, all of their essentials. Even their dogs were abandoned, tied to posts and left to starve. No One knows why. A search party dispatched by the U.S. Army eventually discovered the remains of nearly 300 of Friar's evacuees. Many had frozen to death. Others were cruelly and mysteriously slaughtered. The bodies of the remaining citizens are still unaccounted for. Over the years, a quiet cover-up operation managed to weave the story of Friar into the stuff of legends and backwoods fairy tales. The town has slowly repopulated, but the vast wilderness is mostly untracked, with the northern-most stretches off limits to local hunters and loggers. In 2008, the coordinates for the "YELLOWBRICKROAD" trail head were declassified. The first official expedition into a dark and twisted wilderness ...Written by
Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland
I found YellowBrickRoad to be deeply unsettling, like a nightmare that tugged at something deep inside me. This is definitely a slow, mostly subtle horror film, and not for everyone, but I found it better than most that I've seen. This was a surreal, disturbing experience that took a group of ordinary people in a pretty ordinary setting and situation, and gradually morphed it into an anxious world without reliable reference frame in which we're not sure what is real. If I like a movie, and I did like this one, I tend to strongly empathize with the characters and their situation, and I found myself feeling the anxiety of questioning reality and my own grasp of it. Shortly after watching the film I went to sleep and proceeded to have what seemed like hours of dream obviously derived from the movie.
Comparable films are "The Blair Witch Project" (the original one--for obvious reasons when you see this one) and "Session 9" for the slow, character-driven build and growing sense of dread.
Yes, there was one plot detail which strained credibility, was a little distracting, and I think could've been easily avoided, but I was willing to overlook that given that otherwise the overall experience worked for me. Regarding the ending, I know many posting here found it unsatisfying. I feel strongly about endings and usually like them to be clear and unambiguous, and I liked the ending of this film. Having said that, I understand why some would not like the ending, but it made sense to me and sealed the horror of the story.
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