Dir: John Hilcoat
They did a really good job visualising the book with this one. The only thing they got wrong was the gauntness of the characters... but I guess there is a limit to how much you can expect an actor to lose weight for a role.
Books always have an advantage over films in that the imagination knows no boundries, all the effects in the world have yet to come close to the things I see in my head, but films have sound, and sound effects, with music, always works to a film makers advantage. 'The Road' is certainly no exception and the film deserves recognition for some truly awe inspiring audio effects. Through out the film, the ambient noise is textured with strange sounds, distant thundering explosions and other bizarre noises that conjure up any manner of horrors added to some obscure, subtle effects which keep the audience is a state of perpetual suspense.
When you see a line of skulls on stakes, or blood spattered in ash, the audience is engaged to the vision but they're not really afraid. Add a subtle discordant sound though, or the terror filled screaming of an unseen woman and suddenly the audience is engaged on a personal level. Even having read the book, knowing what was going to happen next, I was still peering at the screen with my head turned half away. There is nothing quite as personal, quite as horrific as the screaming of a woman about to be eaten by other people.
If you enjoy this kind of thing; horror, gore, what have you, then its probably no big deal and you've become some what desensitized to the effect, but if like me, you are more of a science fiction, post apocolypse addict, then such horribleness is more effective. It certainly sent shivers up my spine!
As with the book, the film shows 'real' post apocolypse. There are no romantic notions of road warrior anti-hero's here, just two starving people constantly hiding from people who are all eating each other and for once, the word apocolypse has a real meaning. As post apocolypse goes, this is as good as 'Apocolypto'.