I got The Road from Netflix today, excited because I've wanted to see it forever- I love Viggo Mortensen, I knew the soundtrack would be amazing because Nick Cave and Warren Ellis did it, and John Hillcoat is a brilliant director and if you don't know that familiarize yourself with his work.
The story is about a father and son, trying to get to the east coast after the Apocalypse. They spend the entire movie covered in a thick layer of dirt and grime, and Viggo's teeth develop a lovely greenish-brown film. Charlize Theron is in very little of the movie- she leaves when Viggo refuses to kill her and their son and then commit suicide to avoid the surely-terrible future. The rest of her scenes are flashbacks.
There are roaming tribes of cannibals, bomb shelters, and near-misses with said cannibals. There is one particularly horrifying scene where the father and son (they don't have names) go into a house to find food and shelter and end up finding a cellar with a dozen or so half-naked malnourished people, some with missing limbs. There are bloody meathooks EVERYWHERE. They escape, but just barely, when the cellar people try to make a run for it and the cannibals have to make sure their food supply (ugh...) doesn't run off.
I found myself, though fascinated, wondering when the movie would end. It's just under two hours, but it felt like a lifetime watching all that suffering. Cormac McCarthy wrote some scary shit into that novel. And it's scary because it's entirely possible. We may see it in our lifetimes. I don't want to think about having to run away from people that want to fucking EAT ME, but the thought stays with me.
Don't get me wrong. The Road is a GREAT movie. But it's one of those films that you can only watch when you're in a depression and you need to have a good cry. Or when you're into something scary that isn't all about blood and guts the way horror movies are (which, by the way, I don't find scary, they're just gross). I'll never be able to watch that last scene without crying buckets- hearing that sweet boy say "Papa" over and over again when he realized his father was gone put me over the edge. I felt on the verge of tears through the whole thing but that did it for me.
I'm not one for the so-called "classic" novels, either, but I would read Cormac McCarthy before I EVER touched anything by Faulkner or one of the other supposedly great American writers. I can see how Nick Cave's first novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel, garnered comparisons. It was probably intentional, but still.
So... Anyway... Check it out. But be forewarned, it's a tough watch.