The Road is a terrible thing. The struggles and nuances of metaphors through dreaming of bad things are new and constant aches and pains. The film, however, is simply transient of all expectation in a category of its own.
Readers of McCarthy’s book know that it is the depictions of cannibalism in this lawless future-world which provide its deepest shocks. The man and his boy chance upon a secluded country home containing a locked basement horrifically packed with naked prisoners being “farmed” as food for their captors. Later, we find the remains of an infant’s corpse, apparently once ready to be eaten by its desperate parents. Hillcoat uses voiceovers, which has a calming, distancing function, no matter what revulsions are being described.
The Road is undoubtedly a serious, powerful, well-acted movie, and the fractional reluctance to confront the nightmare fully is daunting,. Joe Penhall’s adaptation arguably imports fear into the body of the movie with the premonition of the unexpectedly redemptive and gentle tone in McCarthy’s final pages. The Road is a must-see for anyone and that is all that can be said about a film such as this, where the end of a review corresponds to a quick end to the environment around it.