Yellowbrickroad - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Yellowbrickroad Reviews

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August 3, 2016
With a decent rating and a decent trailer I expected more from this movie. What you get is a good idea that falls flat on it's face. The characters aren't interesting and I felt like the writer watched a few Twilight Zone episodes and then thought that qualified them as a film writer. Ridiculous things happen without any explanation and the characters just bumble around looking as lost as the viewer is. The filming felt like I was watching something on the Hallmark channel.
½ January 13, 2016
Slightly overlong but nonetheless effective and interesting experience
½ September 17, 2015
Horrible... The worst ending ever!!
September 10, 2015
This was a really well made look at a group of people investigating mysterious disappearances from the past where folks claimed to have heard strange music drawing them into the forests, and it's really unnerving as hell and makes great use of sound design to put the viewer off and unsettle them as the characters start to become unhinged.

Well worth a look, recommended.
August 20, 2015
Very creepy film that leaves you with an unsettled feeling for quite a while after watching. Would definitely view again.
½ July 27, 2015
It was actually doing really well for itself and then came the ending and the ending was just full of pretentious goop. It's too bad because there were so many interesting ways it could have gone. Also there were ways the way it went could have worked, but it didn't work
September 5, 2014
A college student's summer art project at best.
August 25, 2014
I would have given it 3stars if they actually answered any of the questions they asked instead of just having metaphysical conjecture.
July 24, 2014
It was ok. Sort of like a Bermuda Triangle in the middle of this forest they all go walking through. Eventually they all start to lose their minds. It came off at times as a Sci-Fi made for Tv movie. The story seemed pretty aimless too.
½ May 20, 2014
It's a strange movie, i'll admit it, but it is a hidden gem. This movie is intentionally vague and nonsensical as it explores the human psyche. Who's to say what really happened there on the Yellowbrickroad. All you can know for sure is that as you lose your way on the Yellowbrickroad, you also lose your sanity.
½ April 20, 2014
Had some good ideas and even at some times it felt pretty intersting and scary, but the movie has a ton of problem, specially when it forgets that it is a horror movie. It forgets to add scary audio, scary camera angles, a scary story, good characters. I ended up dissapointed at most of the movie, and I felt like if everything coudlve been developed a lot better. It does have a fairly original ambience and ideas, but it fails in its execution and it feels convoluted and sometimes just nonsensical.
March 16, 2014
YELLOWBRICKROAD (2010) independent
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton
FEATURING: Cassidy Freeman, Anessa Ramsey, Laura Heisler, Lee Wilkof, Clark Freeman, Michael Laurino, Alex Draper, Tara Giordano, Sam Elmore
GENRE: HORROR
TAGS: mystery, puzzler, occult

PLOT: A small entourage of pseudo-anthropologists encounters disorientation, bedlam and horror on the trail of an historic mass disappearance.

COMMENTS: A fortnight ago I discussed the independent puzzler, Resolution (2012). It's plodding and pensive, but delivers on its clever high concept with a disturbing climax. Akin to Resolution, the glibly cyber-entitled Yellowbrickroad follows a like formula and offers a similar experience. It's enigmatic, and saves all of its open-ended answers for its lurid finale. While Yellowbrickroad has fewer puzzler paradoxes than Resolution, first time feature film writer-directors, Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton do a pretty good job considering their half mil micro-budget, incorporating intriguing and colorful elements of mystery, and a couple of relevantly mesmerizing characters.

In Yellowbrickroad, several young academics set out to re-chart a rural New England zone inexplicably reopened and declassified after an unsolved mass exodus emptied a nearby town 70 years in the past. And, you guessed, it, everyone disappeared in them thar hills. Except for their intestines, that is.

OK, not just their intestines. Other parts were found too, but not nearly enough to account for everyone. Some of the emigrants, intestines and all, just...well they just vanished, it we get the general idea.

Or do we?

Because except for several token nods to the 1939 classic, The Wizard Of Oz, Yellowbrickroad's enigma is so perplexing that we mostly forget to question several pretty far-fetched plot holes. Such as why people in the town where everyone disappeared a generation ago are so tight-lipped. If everyone left, presumably today's residents aren't the descendents, and so have no stake in the matter.

But that's OK, because something so unspeakable pervades the locale that just maybe it has a hold on everyone who is afraid to talk about it. One thing's for sure: when a group of 20-somethings venture into the spooky, spooky hills in search of a macabre mystery, we can predict that...well, let's just say, "we knew there'd be death!" A lot of it.

To its credit however, Yellowbrickroad avoids typical deep woods "Boo!" and splatter clichés, instead building on the wilderness atmosphere inherent in being disoriented in a labyrinthine forest. As the team's equipment fails, so do their minds, and the fact-seeking sleuths succumb to bedlam and violence. Time and space mean something different here, and all the while, period music from the era of the disappearance inexplicably wafts across the landscape. The trekkers can't determine it's source -or the way back. The path, nicknamed the "Yellow Brick Road" since its original followers departed from a local theater playing The Wizard Of Oz, held then, as today, some kind of symbolic "way out."

Or not.

For the woods have swallowed our crew of intrepid explorers, their navigational aids won't work, and there seems to be no way off the trail. Reminiscent of an old fable about suicide, in which those who killed themselves were presumed to be dissatisfied with reality, and wound up sentenced to increasingly topsy-turvy, contrary worlds each time they attempted escape, the Yellow Brick Road in Yellowbrickroad obviously leads to some much weirder reality with the grim caveat of "be careful what you wish for."

Like the aforementioned Resolution, or the engrossing but talky, independent sci-fi thriller, Primer (2004), Yellowbrickroad is a niche film. It takes is dialogue-saturated time delivering us to the sensational payoff. All three vehicles would be more effective as half-hour shorts.

Yellowbrickroad offers some gruesome, blackly comedic skullduggery along the way, however and there's one forceful, enigmatic hint for what is to come: an unsettling sound effect that everyone will instantly recognize, but absolutely not be able to place. Until the ending that is, which slaps you with a sickening epitome of recognition, and of course, this adds to the shock value, making the journey worth the time, even if one has to hasten the hiking pace via judicious use of the Fast Forward button.
½ March 4, 2014
IMO, an underrated and very creepy film.
March 3, 2014
Being from NH the setting drew me in. In the end it was just another movie painting the woods as a scary place. The end made little sense and the fall into madness was difficult to follow in most of the characters. On a more petty note being from small town NH we may be rural but modern tech has reached us and despite IMDB reporting much of the cast was pulled from northern New England there seemed to be little attention paid to making it seem legit. I stuck through it, hoping for some salvation of the story and just ended up disappointed.
½ February 27, 2014
A somewhat interesting premise, dragged down into botched execution. There's very little tension to be had, and some of the effects are terrible enough to yank one right out of what little mood has been built. The ending is also a clueless, unnecessary non-sequitur. It held my interest a little bit when carefully attended to alone in the dark, but on any less committed viewing, it falls apart.
February 19, 2014
One line summary: Well-appointed modern twenty-somethings follow the path of a doomed march made in 1940.

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In 1940, the residents of Friar, New Hampshire walked up a mountain road. They were not seen again. The film starts with a recreation of part of the Army's subsequent investigation. In 2008, the coordinates of the trail head are declassified. A group bands together to investigate the incident.

The group is well equipped. They bring a six wheeled vehicle of some sort, multiple cameras, a high-quality sextant, GPS, compasses, maps, tents, and all manner of other things.

After the music and the noise starts, things start to go downhill. About the same time, the compasses start to wobble or spin. The GPS gives wildly variable and always false readings. The noise is intermittent and so loud that hands-over-the-ears is not enough to keep it from being debilitating. Their two-way radios become unreliable.

After one of the men kills Erin over a hat, the sanity of the group just drops off a cliff. They cannot agree on a way back, since their travel notes are gibberish. They split into smaller groups. One character jumps to her death. One character implores a woman companion to kill him; she eventually snaps his neck after he tells her how to do it. A man kills himself after filming a good-bye. Early on, their is a scene about the dangers of nightshade. Later a character commits suicide using nightshade.

Does anyone survive? Does anyone figure out the mystery that instigated the trek? Watch for the final seconds after the closing credits; a few images (supposedly) from the Army investigation are shown.

------Scores------

Cinematography: 5/10 Often OK, but has shaky cam now and then.

Sound: 0/10 Huge dynamic range, which is quite irritating. Make that worse than irritating. To hear its meaningless conversations, one needs to turn the sound up. A lot. To avoid breaking the speakers, or getting a visit from the cops, one needs to turn the sound down, down, down. The sound alone renders this film a failure.

Acting: 3/10 I liked Cassidy Freeman's (Smallville) performance fairly well. I cannot say the same for the rest of the cast. The +3 is for Ms Freeman alone.

Screenplay: 0/10 Pointless. Was the original purpose of the expedition achieved? Not even remotely. Did the dead characters gain any enlightenment before death? No. The ending was just one more fall into insanity.
½ February 16, 2014
Terrible movie. It could not hold my attention.
December 31, 2013
Whiny women & doofus men with a kickass sound effect leading to nothing. Could have been sooo scary.
December 30, 2013
Whiny women, doofus men & a kickass sound effect lead to nothing. It tried to be surreal & fizzled out...
November 5, 2013
2 stars for the effort.
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