Reviewed by Steve Urena
When writer and director Nicholas Smith decided that he wanted to make his first feature length horror film, he didn’t have to travel very far for inspiration. As a native of St. Charles, Illinois, Smith already had a horrifying destination that gives nightmares to the residents in his hometown. Urban legend breeding ground and Illinois scare attraction, Munger Road.
For those of you not familiar with the macabre Munger Road, this scare filled hotspot gets a lot of attention due to several reports of urban legends and supernatural activity. Everything from werewolves, cult practices, derailed trains, and a vanishing Oldsmobile, has been documented, creating a word of mouth attraction for the scare seekers of Wayne, IL and its surrounding areas.
This peaks the interest of teenagers Corey (Trevor Morgan), Joe (Brook Phelps), Scott (Hallock Beals,) and Rachel (Lauren Storm), who decide to spend an evening parked on the train tracks of Munger Road to participate in the ritual and excitement of reenacting an urban legend. Unbeknownst to them a serial killer is on the loose, looking to return to his hometown and create a homecoming killing spree that no one will ever forget.
The film definitely entertained me as a lover of the horror genre as I, myself have gone on a pilgrimage to investigate paranormal happenings in my area. It definitely captures the excitement and dialogue of a trip of this magnitude and the teenagers do a great job of meshing well with one another. Combine this with the great performance of Oscar Nominated Bruce Davison as Chief Kirkhoven and you have a sure fire horror hit. Smith does a great job of leaving the murderous attacks on the teenagers to the imaginations of the viewers as the movie tends to shoot the chaos in the dark leaving the horror to the mind’s eye of the audience.
I do have one criticism of the film, as it does leave a lot of questions unanswered leaving me a bit confused. I will not spoil the ending as there is a twist but the ending features a to be continued, meaning that there will be a second film. I am sure these questions will be answered in Munger Road 2, but I was hoping for a definite ending. Other than that the film is definitely worth a look and is a very good first outing for director and writer Nicholas Smith. With chills and thrills and several scenes of suspense, Munger Road is a track you want to travel down. I will definitely be checking out numero dos.