October 20, 2018 Bonehill Road (Movie Review)
Fleeing an abusive relationship is absolute hell for one mother and daughter in the brand-new Horror/Thriller Bonehill Road, which arrived to DVD on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 thanks to Wild Eye Releasing. Just in time for Howl-o-Scream!
At a non-descript ranch home in the suburbs, mom Emily (Eli DeGeer: Sound of Nothing 2013, Empire State of the Dead 2016) and daughter Eden (Ana Rojas-Plumberg: Dreaming Purple Neon 2016) are about to flee an abusive situation. After Emily knocks her husband (Aaron Brazier: Dreaming Purple Neon 2016, Wrestlemassacre 2018) out with a frying pan, the ladies head for the family SUV and flee the scene of the crime.
Exhausted and trying to make it to her father’s (Gary Kent: The Thrill Killers 1964, Frame Switch 2016) home by midnight, Emily zones out while driving near the corner of Wolf Road and Bonehill Road and hits an animal. An animal lover, Eden urges her mother to check to see if there are any signs of the animal lying injured in the road.
Soon afterward, the mother-daughter team compound mistake-upon-mistake and find themselves being chased by a group of bizarrely hairy creatures. With the fog heavy and a full moon hanging in the sky, the ladies race on foot into the woods in search of help. Of course, as these things go, the help they find might be more dangerous than what they were running from in the first place!
Clocking in at 85 minutes in-length, Bonehill Road was written and directed by Todd Sheets (House of Forbidden Secrets 2013, Dreaming Purple Neon 2016). It also features Douglas Epps (Dreaming Purple Neon 2016, Hollywood Werewolf 2019) as psycho Coen; Linnea Quigley (Silent Night, Deadly Night 1984, The Return of the Living Dead 1985) as Suzy; Millie Milan (House of Forbidden Secrets 2013, Abaddon 2018) as Tina; and Dilynn Fawn Harvey (Sleepless Nights 2016, Clownado 2018) as Lucy.
Billed as a Horror/Thriller offering, Bonehill Road plays out like a heavily flawed attempt at such, with very little successful Horror and no thrills. The problems here are myriad with the biggest issue being the cliché script that lacks in a definitive, original plot. Consequently, character development is weak, at best, with many of the actors merely serving as cannon fodder, while even the creatures themselves are flawed.
As far as the plot goes, it’s a weak one. Mother-daughter duo Emily and Eden flee an abusive home life to collect themselves at grandpa’s house while fleshing out a plan for repairing their damaged lives. Unfortunately, from the moment they leave their home, the plot goes into a cliché downward spiral full of car accidents, unwanted pregnancies, werewolves, a cannibalistic psycho, random Cabot Cove and Castle Rock references, and a whole lot of screaming and a bunch of crocodile tears. Despite their trevails, their characters remain largely flat and Eden, the daughter who has been expelled from school, seems to have a better grasp on mothering than Emily, who continuously fumbles with horrible choices.
Considering this, it would be hard to entirely write-off anyone’s acting skills based solely off their involvement with Bonehill Road. However, there are some obvious issues in that department, as well. In her role as Eden, Rojas-Plumberg oft looks bored – even when sawing into flesh during one scene. When she should be hysterically distraught, she lacks the ability to fake tears and provide a compelling performance; though, conversely, when her character is experiencing very little in the way of trauma, she’s decent with the delivery of her lines. DeGeer almost seems to relish in the trauma and drama, running around yelling and screaming, flailing and crying. She never over or under-acts, but she also never makes much of a lasting impression.
It is Epps, in the role of looney Coen, who does the bulk of the overacting for the film. He is the used car salesman of psychosis and goes all-in with his role. Points for commitment to the character, but his performance is definitely baked with a thick layer of parmigiana. His cohorts Quigley and Milan are largely just cannon fodder, their characters barely given names. Quigley’s on-screen time is minimal, and she meets a quick but gruesome end. Only Harvey fairs slightly better, though her wolf transformation is, ultimately, kind of ridiculous.
Which segues perfectly into the film’s special effects and makeup, both of which are minimalist due to the exceedingly low budget. Where others might have worked around their limitations, Bonehill Road tramples over the top of them and leaves guts strewn everywhere – even if that means intestines spilled onto the floor like sausage links. Which is to say that Bonehill Road does not attempt to skimp on the gore, but rather goes full-blast even if its special effects department cannot deliver. Those creatures? Well, they look like a bad Halloween costume that combines werewolves, Bigfoot, and Alf. Yes, the friendly neighborhood alien from the planet Melmac.
To be fair, there are two positives here: the end credit sequence contains two original tracks that are both worth checking out – Mostly Autumn’s delicate “Heart, Body and Soul” and Run With It’s Indie Pop “I Need A Light.”
Fraught with a multitude of issues – including continuity errors, cliches galore, a superbly weak script, and overreaching special effects – Bonehill Road almost seems like it was destined to fail. For some films, this failure becomes flattering and there’s a delicious Velveeta quality that makes for a wonderfully fun grade-B production. That, unfortunately, is not the case here: Bonehill Road is just boring and entirely lacking in originality. For these reasons, CrypticRock give Bonehill Road 2.5 of 5 stars. If you enjoy bonus hijinx and/or men in makeup, stay beyond the credits for an appearance from the God of Thunder.