Movie Review-Toad Road

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Review-If Larry Clark were to write a horror film, I feel this is what we could expect from him. Toad Road is a drug infused depressing look at the world thru the eyes of a group of young adults. The film revolves around James, James on the outside seems normal enough but once you go inside his world, you will see James is someone who seems to need a chemical altered reality to feel normal. His friends are useless, but his girlfriend Sara seems to start off innocent until she wants to start using. The majority of this film the characters are going from one location to another to drop acid or do mushrooms. Sara wants to test the legend of Toad Road which is a place that is rumored to be the actual seven gates of hell. She seems to think that if you pass thru one gate it leads to another and another. This film is very intimately shot where you feel like you are on this journey with them. What makes it even more impressive is that this is not shot like a found footage or hand-held camera sort of encounter. The actors really shined in this film almost in a way of Kids where you watched the film and even though it disturbed you, you just knew there was some future stars in that film. The performances all the way around were very real and emotion filled. Especially with Sara who went from angel to sinner right before our eyes in such a patient and effective way. The negatives to this film are that it is so short and really does not try to stretch itself out. You just get all this attention to tripping and drugs. I understand trying to establish the characters and their lifestyle but so much time was spent with that when it came time for the rest of the film, it just seemed like an afterthought. This film needed something to offset the development of the storyline and characters, like maybe something that could get us more involved with the legend of Toad Road. Toad Road is a hard film to actually think about after you watched it, the stuff that sticks with you are basically the characters and their habits. I just wish that there was more of a horror element. I mean the film goes a long time way past the 40 minute mark before we got any sense it was a thriller or a horror film. I did not hate the film, it was well-acted, great script and the directing was top notch, but I was just hoping that this film had something that showed more of the Toad Road aspect of it. If you want a film in the vein of Larry Clark’s Kids with a spooky story weaved in, you may dig this film. This could be a good double feature with All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.

7 out of 10