On this day in horror history, The Road with Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee opened in 2009. John Hillcoat (The Proposition, Lawless) directed the post-apocalyptic survival film from a screenplay written by Joe Penhall.
Based on the 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men), the film stars Mortensen and Smit-McPhee as a father and his son in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. They try to keep the dream of civilization alive and journey toward the sea. They survive as best they can on what they can scavenge. And try to avoid roving gangs of savage humans who will turn them into slaves, or worse.
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Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) co-stars with Robert Duvall (The Godfather) and Guy Pearce (Memento). Molly Parker (Lost in Space) joins them with Michael Kenneth Williams (Hap & Leonard), and Garret Dillahunt (Last House on the Left).
Budgeted at $20M, filming began in February 2008 and continued for eight weeks. Hillcoat preferred to shoot in real locations. Pennsylvania was the main shooting location due to its abandoned or decayed locations.
Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans Mount St. Helens were was also used. Filmmakers frequently used Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike as well.
Hillcoat wanted “a world in severe trauma,” without explaining the apocalypse. He said: “That’s what makes it more realistic, then it immediately becomes about survival and how you get through each day as opposed to what actually happened.”
The film sports a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes with this Critics Consensus: The Road’s commitment to Cormac McCarthy’s dark vision may prove too unyielding for some, but the film benefits from hauntingly powerful performances.
Do you dig The Road?