The Road, showing na sa US at Canada

GMA Films’ The Road was finally released commercially in the United States and Canada. With reviews and positive feedback pouring in, let’s take a look at how its journey to Hollywood began.

Pre-release media coverage

A The Hollywood Reporter article published on March 20, 2012 (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/freestyle-the-road-yam-laranas-horror-film-302448) announces that Freestyle Releasing acquired the US rights to The Road and will release the horror film in both theaters and digital platforms on May 11. The same story ran in Variety (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118051702?refCatId=13), AllHorror.Net (http://www.allhorror.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=930:supernatural-trilogy-the-road-gets-may-theatrical-run-via-freestyle-releasing&catid=19&Itemid=229), Broadway World (http://movies.broadwayworld.com/article/THE-ROAD-Gets-US-Release-in-Select-Theaters-May-11-20120327), and Celebrity Gossip (http://celebritygossipus.com/2084/foreign-media-talk-about-gma-films-the-roadu-s-release-set-on-may-11/).

Soon after, its Red Band trailer had a broadcast premiere in Reelz Channel and was then featured in various US-based movie websites such as AOL Moviefone, Fandango, Vimeo, Yahoo Movies, At The Cinema, ComingSoon.Net, Moviebox, Movies.com, 411 Mania, Alien Bee, Buzz Net, Badass Movies, Crosat, Daily Motion, and Movie 139.

Last minute media coverage by Bloody Disgusting (http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3140981/interview-director-yam-laranas-talks-violence-structure-and-that-creepy-bag-imagery-in-the-road/), Horror Movies (http://www.horror-movies.ca/2012/05/new-photos-from-the-road-roll-in/), Slant Magazine (http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/the-road/6269), Village Voice (http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-05-09/film/the-road-film-review/), and Film Fracture (http://www.filmfracture.com/films/the_road_2012) were also released the day before the film premiered in Arclight Cinemas last May 9. 

Previous interviews with the film’s director Yam Laranas were also posted by Horror Talk (http://www.horrortalk.com/features/2319-interview-yam-laranas.html) and Alien Bee (http://alienbee.net/exclusive-interview-director-yam-laranas-talks-new-horror-thriller-the-road/) where he talked about how he formulated the script and chose the perfect ‘road’ for the movie.
 
Premiere night

US media flocked to the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood to cover The Road’s premiere. Photos and exclusive interviews with Direk Yam and the cast were posted in news websites and horror blogs alike.

Front Row Live’s Robert Herrara was present during the premiere and had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Direk Yam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrXPjAfLSbs), actress Rhian Ramos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BrXhpiLiHM&feature=relmfu), and boxing champ Manny Pacquiao (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4h62Vaksss&feature=relmfu) who was in the US for his next fight.

Premiere night stills have been made available by Getty Images (http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=144113059&EditorialProduct=Entertainment), Yahoo! News Philippines (http://ph.news.yahoo.com/photos/director-yam-laranas-poses-north-american-premiere-filipino-photo-064535144.html), and Yahoo! OMG Philippines (http://ph.omg.yahoo.com/photos/the-road-premiere-in-hollywood-slideshow/manny-pacquiao-philippines-poses-director-yam-laranas-cast-photo-065010727.html).

David Poland of Movie City News (http://moviecitynews.com/2012/05/dp30-the-road-co-writerdirector-yam-laranas/) was able to have a one-on-one interview with Direk Yam before the premiere night.

Peter Gonzaga also had an article published in The Examiner (http://www.examiner.com/article/philippine-cinema-makes-history-taking-the-road-to-hollywood) about the film’s Hollywood premiere.

B&L Magazine (http://bnlmag.com/2012/05/filipino-stars-shine-in-the-roads-u-s-red-carpet-premiere/) was also in the film’s premiere and after party held at The Lure, as well as in the press conference held in Barrio Fiesta Restaurant in Glendale, Los Angeles the day before.
 
The reviews

The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Abele’s review was published both in print and online (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-the-road-capsule-20120511,0,5867204.story). It points out that the film “takes its own sweet time drawing you into its world of frightened teenagers, bloody apparitions and buried secrets.” He also describes Direk Yam as someone who “prefers protracted enigmas to quick-and-easy shocks, making for some slow going early on.” He even writes that “the film's three-pronged narrative does a fair job of laying a spooky groundwork for the revelatory emotional sadism that lies behind most acts of evil; it just takes a bit of clunky exposition to get there.”

Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times wrote in her review of this Critic’s Pick film (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/business/global/new-ambitions-in-philippine-film-business.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all) that “this enormously assured movie sucks you in like quicksand." She further describes the movie as “tightly written and spookily shot” and that “each chapter has a distinct look and narrative arc” thus connecting with one another “with stretches of dread-filled silence.” She goes on by saying “A fleeting encounter in the woods, filmed at medium range and with only a single, shocking sound effect,  delivers a more effective jolt than any number of ax-wielding maniacs.”

Variety (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117947529/) featured a follow-up to their first story about The Road, this time via a movie review by Rob Nelson.  Here, Nelson writes that the movie “indeed leads to horror, as co-written and directed by Filipino filmmaker Yam Laranas, but it takes a while.” The long wait will eventually pay off though, since the film displays “just enough narrative ingenuity to compensate for a cinematically crude and logistically sketchy deployment of the requisite blood-and-guts mayhem.” 

Andrew  O’Hehir of Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2012/05/11/global_horror_takes_a_new_road/singleton/) states this in his review: "I'm actually grateful to Laranas for not including the usual expository scene, in which the old-time sheriff pushes his hat back on his head, whistles through his teeth and says, ‘You talkin' about the old Aquino place, out there on Dead Teenager Path? Son, some things is best left alone.’"

The Road received a 3 out of 5 rating from the staff of Best Horror Movies (http://www.best-horror-movies.com/the-road-2012-review.html ) who summed up its review by saying “There's some great camera work from Laranas to feast on here, the onscreen performances are all rock solid and the picture does indeed deliver a couple quality scares that are birthed through tension rather than cheap jolts. The picture travels quite the emotional gamut, and forces viewers to juggle fear, aggression, torment, an infinite sadness and compassion all in the span of nearly two hours.”

The Road is currently being shown in select cities all over US and Canada. Get ready to scream when you watch it in a theater near you!


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