[Review] Terror Road (Buried Alive Film Festival 2019): Never Trust a Lone Kid on a Deserted Road

Writer/director Brian Shephard delivers good old-fashioned creepiness in his debut short film, Terror Road. Recalling 1980s horror movies and such television favorites as Monsters and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the short is both a fun throwback film for adults and a fine “introduction to horror” work for younger audiences.

This two-hander sees wife and mother Anna (Surely Alvelo of TV series Sleepy Hollow and Stan Against Evil) driving home on the titular stretch of road when she sees a young boy (Brayden Benson of short film Believe Then See) run in front of her car. Worried that she might have hit him, she gets out to investigate. As she sees nothing and prepares to start driving home again, the boy reappears — and ramps up a deadly game.

Terror Road is rich in atmosphere, taking place on an aptly named deserted road on a foggy night. Shephard builds the suspense in the classic style of revealing things slowly, raising the tension and stakes at a steady pace. Cinematographer Erik van Lenten captures the eerie mood and thrilling action superbly. 

Alvelo is terrific as Anna, who sees her life change just after a cheerful phone call home. Yes, mobile phones get reception on Terror Road, but they still won’t do their users any good. The actress is convincing in her fear and frustration. Benson gives a fine turn as an evil child — or, at least, something resembling a child. 

Fore more information, visit the film’s official website.

Terror Road screens on November 16 at 2:00 at Buried Alive Film Festival, which runs at 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, from November 13–17.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.