While investigating several local legends that for years have been passed around in a little town called White Plains, a trio of students begin to suffer grisly nightmares that not only put their sanity in danger, but also their lives, as if their efforts to disprove the legends had awaken a fury that had been dormant until now. This tragedy ends up involving Aaron, a soldier on leave that was visiting his grandfather and now will have to dig into the little town’s past to stop the nightmares and save himself of being another victim of the Curse of Buckout Road.
I’ll confess that after reading the official synopsis (and my own previous description, I admit) «The Curse of Buckout Road» sounds like so many films that we have watched recently (the only thing missing was «This is a found footage!!») but this film turned out to be a very nice surprise, it delivered an interesting story, had several twists that i liked, and besides showing nice camerawork ( and not using those annoying shaky camera shots where you can’t frigging tell what is happening) it used several film styles to give the story a very distinctive taste when we, along with the characters experiment the nightmares that are tormenting them.
These choices might trow off some people in the audience, and they can turn a little too funny and break the tense mood that some scenes were going for, but in the overall context of the film, I think they serve very well to establish the feel of the time where the myths and legends of the town began, These scenes are nice homages to films of the 70’s grindhouse days, and we also get some Hammer-esque moments, but like I said, some people might not get on board with them.
«The Curse of Buckout Road» has a lot of interesting things for everybody, and I think that one of the strongest points of the film is that you can’t really guess where is going, or rather, you understand very soon that the story is more entertaining if you just go with the flow and try not to guess where is going (Something that is kind of hard to do recently with thrillers and scary movies). While is true that the film takes a very familiar route at moments, it takes its time to sink us into the local legends, and little by little it expands them, giving us a richer experience on this world that is presenting.
The director Matthew Currie Holmes uses very effectively the time he has to tell his story, and he does not waste time on pointless subplots that go no where, something I really am thankful for, the pacing is nimble and steady. Most of the characters that we get to meet, regardless of how much we see them on the screen, are there for a reason and have something to contribute to the plot, if for nothing else, to pull the carpet below our feet when we think we know where the story is going. Is refreshing to see a film that really exploits its 90 minutes of run time and do not try to insert pointless filler with contemplative scenes that pretends to be deep or artistic and that in reality are only there to fluff the run time and get to the two hours mark, but brings nothing to the plot. Another thing that i liked was the music, there were several tunes that stood out to me and helped to create the tension in some scenes.
In general I thought the acting was very good, and although there is very little gore on the film, when we see it is very welcome. As you might think, there are a couple of jump scares that you can see coming very easily, however is nothing that will mess up the experience. There are several tense moments that I liked, and while we could argue that the way the film ends is open ended, I believe is very effective. Is not one of those copouts that we see when the creative forces can’t think of a strong way to close the story. this ending works because it can give you a satisfying conclusion no matter what kind of film you prefer. I would love to give more details, but it would be entering into the spoiler territory, and I think this is one of those films that you should definitely see at least a couple of times.
In conclusion: «The Curse Of Buckout Road» has several elements that might sound a little bit too familiar, but it manages to put its own flavor and bring something new to the table, standing out among other similar films. It give us several interesting legends, several well connected subplots with characters that we actually give a damn for. Give this film a chance, you won’t regret it.
«The Curse Of Buckout Road» will be released on cinemas and VOD on September 27th.
The films was written and directed by Matthew Currie Holmes, the cast includes the talents of Evan Ross (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Henry Czerny (Ready or Not, Mission: Impossible, Fido), Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Wynonna Earp, Avengers: Age Of Ultron), Colm Feore (The Prodigy, Thor), and Danny Glover (the «Lethal Weapon» franchise, Saw, Jumanji II: The Next Level).