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Movie Review: Scenic Route – Haunting Survival Film That Will Leave You Surprised

scenic_route_movie_posterIf there’s one thing this movie did, website like this it was surprise me. My jaw kept on dropping moment after unexpected moment on this relationship film between two friends, more about that of Carter (Dan Fogler) and Mitchell (Josh Duhamel). If anyone said that Josh Duhamel couldn’t act after seeing this film, information pills I’d say they were crazy.

The tension is high between Mitchell and Carter as they embark on their destination via the “scenic route” when their truck breaks down in the middle of the road, with no one around to help them and miles away from any sort of city. One might think that because Duhamel and Fogler are in this film, that Scenic Route might be a comedy, but in reality, it’s anything but. It’s really a story about survival and a friendship that reaches its limits, breaks down and asks some very real questions about what you might be thinking if you believed you were not going to survive.

It was very despairing watching as Carter and Mitchell’s situation kept on getting worse as they continued to miss out on help that would arrive, but then leave because of where they were, the conditions they were in, or just by the way they looked. At the core of it, it’s two friends working through their issues with one another and due to the worst possible situation these issues all come to a head.

At the beginning of the film I wasn’t sure what kind of film it would be. Would it be slightly comedic? It was clear from the first frame however that it would be a serious film. The desert was beautiful, haunting, and scary all at the same time. And as things just kept on getting worse and worse, you couldn’t help but wonder what kind of fate Carter and Mitchell would find themselves.

It’s hard to truly discuss the film without revealing any spoilers, but Scenic Route, if you are comfortable with slow burning shows and films, Scenic Route will reward you by leaving you thinking about the ending, either questioning what happened or find yourself in philosphical discussion as the the film brings up some deep questions.

Needless to say, everything about “Scenic Route” was impressing, and nothing about it was the standard fare that I thought the movie would be. The cinematography and the script brought a feeling of realism to their journey that made you feel like you were about to watch a horror movie, but instead, it brings you in a completely different direction. The characters felt real, even in their stupidity (no water, no extra food, no nothing?). You could feel them start to lose themselves as the hours in the poisonous heat and lack of water have started to cause delirium and cause a negative effect in their chance of survival.

Scenic Route is one route worth taking, it will leave you thinking and appreciating taking the road less traveled. Wonderful little film. 4 keys / 5 keys

Director: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz
Screenplay: Kyle Killen
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Actors: Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler


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