Movie Review: Munger Road (2009)
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PG-13, 84 minutes
A group of thrill-seeking teens determined to find out whether paranormal activity exists on remote Munger Road uncover secrets of a deadly variety. Meanwhile, local cops race to contain the horror the teens have unleashed. (Netflix)
Starring: Bruce Davidson, Randall Batinkoff, Trevor Morgan, Brooke Peoples
Writer/Director: Nicholas Smith
Produced by: Insomnia Productions
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing (2011) (USA) (theatrical), Archstone Distribution (2012) (Non-US) (all media)
I wanted to like this movie. I really did. It combines the urban legend of The Ghost Children (San Antonio is a popular one) and your typical Serial Killer is Loose in a small town. So far it was pushing just the right buttons. I was willing to sit through the trite beginning because that’s how you get to the good stuff.
Four teens go up to Munger Road telling stories of doomed children hit by a train and their ghosts that push you to safety, and a nearby spook house that was the scene of multiple killings. Meanwhile, one chick is pregnant and mad at her boyfriend (because it’s clearly ALL HIS FAULT) and acts as the wet blanket for most of her scenes.As the teens have their scares with the baby powder, you know to see the wee fingerprints of the ghost children, they run into car issues (O NOES), their cell phones stop working (GASP) and they split up to find help (DON’T DO IT). What could possibly go wrong?
(As an aside, making a teen pregnant so she has a reason to live in horror movies is becoming stupid and stale, because surviving for the sake of surviving isn’t enough anymore. It’s a pro-life message that loses all sense and appeal – your life isn’t important, but save the unborn baby responsible for all of your misplaced aggression not fifteen minutes ago!)
If you think it’s a lot going on, you’re not far wrong, and there’s still a loose serial killer. The two whole cops (the wasted Bruce Davidson and Randall Batinkoff) sent to look for him are having zero luck, so *they* split up – “you take the long, pointless tunnel and I’ll take the house where the killer used to hold nefarious court and hopefully neither of us is horribly murdered!”
dun Dun DUUUUUUUUN!
Here’s where you get pissed off. As both stories converge and things finally start to get compelling – the story ends with a big old “TO BE CONTINUED”. If you’d like to see more, like how it ends or who the killer is, you’re out of luck since there is absolutely no word on whether or the rest of the movie will be filmed, and considering this movie two years old – sad trumpet.
In other words, we have essentially two unfinished movies jammed into one horribly unfinished movie with zero chance of anyone actually finishing it. Now I’m not sure what compels anyone to only film half a movie and then not have any concrete plans to release the second half. I wouldn’t consider this artsy, or experimental, but very lazy with shades of fiscal mismanagement. Munger Road is essentially a waste of 84 minutes, because nothing actually happens – when you think you’re about to get the big reveal, which was probably one of the teens killing off their friends with help a la Scream (oops. Spoiler Alert!), we get a black card and credits.
Here is something Mr. Director failed to learn in film school – “leave them wanting more” doesn’t mean giving your audience half a movie and hoping they pay you to make the rest. They won’t, in case you were wondering.
This movie is the equivalent of inviting someone back to your place, putting on soft music, spreading out the appropriate bedding, getting naked, excusing yourself to the bathroom, and then disappearing out the bathroom window, getting into your car and driving back to your real apartment across town.
Lose my number, Munger Road.
1 – Wow Factor – I thought it was going places.
2 – WanderLust – None, but you should have seen me burn up the interwebs when the movie ended.
3 – Rewind – A few moments were filmed well, but forget it, I don’t want to talk about them.
4 – Recommend – No. Never.
5 – (Fingerprints + (Twist to Scream + the backstory of Nightmare On Elm Street)) – Any Film With An Ending = Munger Road
6 – Netflix Rating – One Stars, because there is no Zero Star rating