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.
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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
The first thing that comes to mind, for me, and many others that watched Yellow Brick Road is it's similarity to the old and great Russian film masterpiece "Stalker".
The premise of the film in Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is very similar to the principle and initial concept to Yellow Brick Road, which is a trip into a mysterious "Zone" where the land and directions are twisted by dreaded anomalies in physics.
More so, the idea that all your answers could be found at the end of the road is not necessarily derived from the film "Wizard of OZ" as implied, but more so from the same premise of the film and book "Stalker" to which a room of sorts at the end of the journey can grant you your wishes and desires.
Yellow Brick Road not only has many of Stalker's principle concepts, but also the low-brush feel of the abandoned terrain as well, though Stalker, even in it's much older date, is cinematically far superior.
Yellow Brick Road is clearly influenced by such great psychological films such as Stalker & The Shining. (And far less by The Blair Witch Project to which it is too often compared to) And, in tow, it too, has a slow-burn, being a fine film that very gradually introduces you to the horror aspects of its plot.
So, if you're not patient, don't sit this one out. However if you are, you'll be pleased by the complexity and excellent execution of the film's mysteriously poised premise and interpretations.
Still, Yellow Brick Road departs from the Stalker recipe and moves into its own original motives, which are hunkered down by eerie yet sometimes, annoying horror motifs.
At times, this film seems torn between a science fiction theme and a horror one, and adds in a purposeful sense of mystery to it, with no intention of ever explaining the end.
The ending, in of itself, was clearly made with NO real definition; meaning that it was purposefully created to be interpreted differently by individual viewers. It is not a fixed or solidly explained ending, nor hints at any "credible" revelation either.
This is NOT a spoiler, but a simple warning that viewers will either love the surreal twist, or hate what's left to be personally interpreted.
Unlike newer and similar films with Hitch-And-Twist endings, such as "Vanishing On 7th Street", Yellow Brick Road leaves no hints at its lasting intention, other than portraying some of its characters as reaching a possible hellish demise.
Still, Yellow Brick Road is a rich and imaginative horror film that uniquely uses music and sheer creepiness to stir up much psychological scare tactics. It's also run on a small budget with actors of less than high caliber. However this does not take away from the strong performances and overall high quality of the movie.
If you like bizarre films and movies with a bit of a "Silent Hill" or "The Shinning" effect, this one is for you.
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