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Review: End of the Road

END_OF_THE_ROAD_FINAL_websmallI’m so glad that the werewolf subgenre has really been making a comeback in the last two years. It’s low key one of my favorite horror categories that I feared was dying out just as much as the witchcraft genre was. Luckily, the filmmakers bringing lycanthrope back to the forefront have been killing it (in a good way) and showing horror fans, new and old, why werewolves are still in. End of the Road, from Unmanned Media, is just one of the latest in a slew of short films featuring men turning into wolf-beasts. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting too much from a werewolf short film, but I finished my viewing with my expectations being blown away. Check out my review below for details.

End of the Road is written and directed by J. Spencer with producers Blaine Moir and Cheryl Gabriel. The twelve minute movie features cinematography Jess Dunlap, visual effects from Jon Fitzsimons and gore effects from Neil Etman. Cast members include Tatum Langton (“Crash Pad”), Daniel Van Thomas (Revelation Trail), Dmitrious Bistrevsky (“Face Off”), Travis Coles, Elester Latham and Randall Wulff. End of the Road follows Betsy, a small-town waitress, as she offers a warm meal to an enigmatic drifter who helped her fend off a change seeking hobo. After settling into the rundown diner, Betsy, her boss Travis, the cook and all of the restaurant patrons are unaware that they are in the presence of a vicious and calculative werewolf… and he’s hungry for something other than the menu.

When the short film started, I was treated to the sight of Betsy (Langton) walking cautiously through a rundown neighborhood. She was sporting a red hood (as you can see in the poster above) and I was initially let down, thinking, “great, another twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story.” The hood, however, was probably nothing more than an homage or random wardrobe choice as Betsy is far from a monster slayer. She barely seems capable of shrugging off a friendly homeless man in an alley and takes almost two minutes to crawl out of a pit of manikin doll parts. This makes her easy prey for the werewolf, who viewers will instantly notice without the hair and fangs. The characters and the setting are all in place for a bloodbath and I wasn’t let down in the slightest.

After entering the diner, we briefly meet the supporting cast and filler characters to be used as canon fodder. From there, the action begins and the gorehounds are going to love the Hell out of End of the Road. All of the kill sequences occur off screen, but we’re still given a lot of action and suspense as well as blood splatters, splayed body parts and disembodied dead people. As I said above, the werewolf is hungry and he has no problem gobbling up the entire diner. I think End of the Road is the werewolf equivalent of the Feast franchise, the series that original followed a late night diner under siege by aliens. It feels like the two universes are in sync. This is definitely a plus because the cinematography and the way the script is executed on screen is so invigorating and the short run time gives fans the opportunity to stay interested from start to finish. The only qualm I have is with the audio. Something is a little off, I’m just not sure what.

What a fantastic directorial debut from Spencer and a debut short film from Unmanned Media. I sincerely hope this heads to film festivals because I think it’s going to take home a lot of awards. Great job! A must see! Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

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Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)

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