dvd review: NO THROUGH ROAD

no-through-roadAlthough I don’t get paid for the reviews I post here on my site, I do take my responsibilities as a critic somewhat seriously. To that end, I try hard to watch everything that I review all the way through, in one sitting, without fast-forwarding. As far as I’m concerned, a movie has to be a special type of craptacular for me to even consider engaging the fast-forward button, let alone actually pressing it. All of which is to say that fast-forwarding is not something I do lightly or often, and every time I do it, I vow to never do it again. And then I stumble across something like No Through Road, which, as near as I can tell, is the reason the sort of movie for which the fast-forward button was invented.

No Through Road is something of a psychological thriller that wants to be a horror film, but is little more than a dull excursion into torture porn territory, all the while firmly rooted in a stupidity of such extreme magnitude it will make you want to…well…fast-forward through this steaming pile of nonsense. The crap starts with Richard (James Helm), an amateur photographer that lives in a large house in a secluded neighborhood at the end of a dead-end road. Richard discovers Samantha (Megan Palinkas), who is bloody and beaten, hiding in his closet. Samantha claims that she is hiding from a vicious gang that has raped her, and is outside Richard’s house waiting to finish her off. Okay, right here is where the film begins to fall apart. I don’t care who you are, or what the circumstances are, if you find some bloody chick hiding in your closet who claims she has been raped, and the guys who did it are sitting outside your house, you call the cops, period. I don’t care what the woman says to keep you from calling the cops. I don’t care if you have a fear of cops. You call the cops. And if you don’t call the cops, you’re a fucking idiot. And it you are a character in a movie who does not call the cops, I lose all interest or concern for your fate, because you are stupid. Which is why I found myself hating No Through Road very early on. This dumb jackass who finds a bloody woman hiding in his closet does not call the cops, and instead traipses blindly into a poorly conceived game of psychological terror with a sadistic gang. It’s all stupid. Very stupid. So stupid, in fact, that it makes watching the film difficult. And then you throw in the slow pace, and you have some garbage just demanding that you fast-forward through it.

Like a poorly conceived variation of Assault on Precinct 13 meets Last House on the Left, only stripped of any shred of intelligence or characters worthy of any sort of emotional investment, No Through Road is torturous. The success or failure of the film is totally predicated on the ability of the characters to act with some semblance of intelligence, but these dumb douchebags all come across life they’ve been using at-home lobotomy kits on each other. And it would be one thing if you didn’t care about characters and the film moved at a nice steady pace, but this sorry sumbitch is as slow and boring as it is stupid and riddled with gratuitous violence.

I suppose if I tried hard enough I could come up with some minor redeeming values to be found in No Through Road, but I don’t want to work that hard. The movie was a tremendous waste of time—even while being fast-forwarded—and I can’t give it any more of that which it has robbed me of.

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