A road at the center of local urban legends, young people trying to debunk its mysteries, and a few surprises along the way…
Based on a story by Johnny Pascucci and written by Shahin Chandrasoma and Matthew Currie Holmes, with the latter directing as well, Buckout Road is an interesting take on urban legend movies in how it approaches the urban legends and how the characters are not just plain victims with no background. The characters are decently developed and have relationships between them that make sense and make them care about one another. The way the film develops its story through flashbacks that have their own style depending on the era they are set in, giving the film visual interest each of their own. The story evolves in a way that keeps the interest and has some mystery to it. The ending is interesting and offers not exactly a twist but not exactly the ending one might expect from an urban legend film.
The cast here is led by Evan Ross as Aaron Powell, a soldier returning home after a long time away only to find his grandfather embroiled in something strange. Ross gives a good, grounding performance for the film, not right away believing everything and keeping a skepticism about him that adds to the character. Playing his grandfather, in a somewhat glorified cameo, but one that is worth it, is Danny Glover giving a performance like he used to and not like his recent ones, giving the grandfather a mystery and knowing air while also making him a caring man while his character goes about things a bit the wrong way. Playing Cleo Harris, the linchpin to the story, is Dominique Provost-Chalkley who gives a performance that steals all the scenes she is in. Her work is good and fun to watch. She imbues her character with personality and a sense of duty while also having layers and layers to her which were most likely not scripted but how Dominique Provost-Chalkley plays Cleo.
The film’s design and cinematography are interesting in how they make the everyday life look the most normal even as the story goes in the urban legend territory. The fun starts, visually speaking, when the urban legends flashbacks or scenes start. Each urban legend is set in a different era and each era gets its own look. This differentiation is something that adds visual interest and lets the décor and lighting departments as well as the cinematography stretch their muscles a bit and give the film mini looks for each era.
Buckout Road is an interesting take on urban legend films and what connects people to their family, their pasts, and their belief system. The film makes good use of its cast who all gives decent to more than good performances. The ending is interesting with its twist-ish that makes the film worth watching instead of unmaking everything set-up before it as often happens. It’s a simple film with not a ton going on but the mystery and how it is developed work for it. It’s a genre film, but one should not expect lots of gore or a ton of violence. Here it’s all in the development and the background of the urban legends that plague the titular road. Buckout Road is an entertaining watch with a few twists most should not see coming.
Blood In The Snow runs November 23rd to November 26th, 2017.