END OF THE ROAD
This is a review for the 10 minute Horror short, “End Of The Road”, Written and Directed by first timer, J. Spencer. End Of The Road sees Betsy, a small town waitress, offer a drifter in need shelter at the nearby diner. Little does she know the mystery man isn’t what he seems. The film stars Tatum Langton, Daniel Van Thomas, Travis Coles and Elester Latham. Every once in a while you’ll happen upon a really ambitious and surprising film (especially in the short medium), for me that film was End Of The Road. The Werewolf sub-genre’s been lacking in quality for quite some time. Aside from the amazingly cheesy b-film, “Wolfcop” by Lowell Dean, there hasn’t been anything even remotely memorable in over a decade. See review here *https://adamthemoviegod.com/wolfcop-review/*. Let’s be real here, it’s difficult domain. It usually requires plenty of money in order to present audiences with an alternative to a guy (or girl) in a suit. I did a little digging and if what I found was correct, Spencer’s film wasn’t exactly “low-budget”, at least not for a ten minute short anyway. Still, budget isn’t everything and doesn’t always result in success. You’ve got to have the idea and execute it well, something Spencer and his crew achieved.
End Of The Road opens with some really steady camera work. The tracking shots are nice and the inclusion of a couple of Werewolf POV shots (point of view) made for a nice touch. The audio is clean and the score gives off that subtle, “other worldly” feel. Spencer relies mostly on the use of cleverly implemented sound effects to build the tension. The viewer hears the same intensified sounds as our drifter, Ryder. The switch of a light, a patron’s noisy chewing, the pouring of coffee.. the list goes on. It really helps to engage the audience and I dug it. The old-school diner setting worked well, it had charm like an old throwback to the early Hollywood Monster movies. The acting is consistent right across the board and minimal dialogue helps make this an easy watch. The most surprising thing in J’s short, is that fans of these type of films will actually get to see some of those long-awaited, practical “wolf” effects I spoke of, plus plenty of the red stuff. There’s one stand out kill with a messy aftermath (you’ll know it) but the highlight really is the creature effects, so kudos because this is some of the best work we’ve seen in a while.
My only criticism of the film was in the inconsistent color of the blood during its first couple of sprays on the diner doors. I’m not sure why it looked more like red paint than blood and given how great all the other effects were, I thought that it was odd.
End Of The Road is very much an overdue and specific Horror short, made by fans of the Werewolf sub-genre, for fans of the Werewolf genre. The poster art is great, all the technical aspects are well conceived and the characters are entertaining. The use of sound effects were crucial to its suspense and all the practical monster/makeup and gore effects were simply fantastic. Honestly, I didn’t want this thing to end, the only thing I wanted more of was gore, more more! Spencer’s given fans something they’ve desperately been hanging out for and I hope he and his crew get another chance to give us even more. If you’ve got 10 minutes (which you do) this is a must see. Check it out at the link below.
My rating for “End Of The Road” is 9.5/10