HORRENDOUS HORROR MOVIE OF THE WEEK: YELLOWBRICKROAD
*Yes it is all one word*
1 hour 38 minutes
Directors: Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton
Writers:Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton
Starring: Cassidy Freeman, Anessa Ramsey, Lee Wilkof
Friar, NM 1940. The entire population goes into the woods after watching The Wizard of Oz repeatedly. All of them either go missing, are found murdered/ mutilated, or are found frozen to death in the trees. One survivor tells that they just walked… and walked. The government soon classifies the event until 2010 when a group plans on exploring the trail after the De-classifying of the incident.
The group consists of Teddy and his wife Melissa(who are going to write a book), A brother and sister team (Daryl and Erin) who “do maps”, the leading couple’s behavioral psychology professor friend (Walter), a Ranger from the forestry service, Teddy and Melissa’s intern, and a local girl who shows them where the trail head is.
Increasing anxiety throughout camp begins. It first starts as joking when their GPS goes haywire and they state “Kill the intern! Where are we?” when the GPS states they are first in Guam then later in France. This degrades as Daryl finds an old 1940’s style man’s hat and won’t take it off, causing Erin fearing her brother and yelling continually “Take off that damn hat Daryl!” The group shows forgetfulness in the daily videos that are done by Walter to document the stress levels. Then later the dark truth of their trek is shown as they find a 40’s style man’s hat and seemingly human vertebrae along their way.
“So what if people start forgetting the way back? … I’m not talking about the way home. I’m talking about the way back to where we started, to who we were when we began this thing.”
The horror starts when the group starts hearing soft jazz/swing music as they are walking coming out of the trail itself. Some of the hikers state that they can “hear the 1940 walkers in the music.” The music turns off just as the majority of the group wants to turn around, all except Teddy.
After the music starts again, the group start forgetting who they are, only having the earliest memory of starting on the yellow brick road.
Later the music is deafening and erratic, turning on and off and going from soft to ear splitting highs, causing even more chaos in the camping group. First with Daryl killing Erin, and later with Daryl being caught as the Ranger states that he has also felt like “killing something for the last few days.” As the group attempts to turn back, they notice no-one knows where that is.
“Because when you’re traveling along yellow brick road the numbers are hard. They add up, they make sense going forward, which is exactly how we were taking our sights, going forward. Looking back was a different story. Looking back, looking side to side, the land is like liquid.”
They come across Erin, dead and positioned as a scarecrow in front of them. From here Teddy looks over a large embankment of fallen trees and sees an actual cement pathway, that we are led to believe is the last trek of the yellow brick road. At the same time Daryl steals the only vehicle with their supplies, causing the total loss of all of their hope. They are split up, with Teddy still wanting to continue on wanting to “go home with answers” and to see this trek to the end.
The hysteria continues while they eat deadly nightshade berries, horrifying realizations are acknowledged (that they are all going mad), and degrades to suicide and murder.
“They walked because you always know the trail there. … A way out. You feel like the trail will understand you. And now I think that is the worst part, that it does.”
The Skinny: Getting lost while hiking, especially if you are investigating why other people hiked on the same trail and died, is scary. The movie does a good job at showing the descent into madness that all of the hikers went through. Last thought: “What smell do you associate with the color red?”
Scary Score- 2/5 : Scary at times, not going to keep me up at night though.
Re-watch ability- 3/5