Before the screening of Road Games at last year’s FrightFest the fantastic and eccentric French actor Frédéric Pierrot star of Les Revenants grabbed the microphone from Alan Jones and yelled out to the assembled crowd “Everyone is guilty!”
Pierrot’s slightly insane yet insightful introduction to the debut feature from writer and director Abner Pastoll sets up the audience perfectly for a thrilling trip across the French countryside involving lies, murder, intrigue and more twists and turns than a rugged rural road.
Following a handsome young hitchhiker named Jack (Andrew Simpson) who is trekking across France to get back to England a chance encounter brings him together with Véronique (Joséphine de La Baume) a mysterious French girl also looking to escape her homeland.
Although separated by a slight language barrier the pair bond instantly and intensely and continue the journey together which it transpires is the safer way to go when Véronique reveals to Jack that a serial killer has been known to hunt along the stretch of highway they now travel.
Things take a turn for the strange however when Frédéric Pierrot’s character Grizard picks them up and insists on taking them to his massive mansion to stay the night with himself and his slightly weird and highly strung wife Mary played by horror legend Barbara Crampton.
With every character harboring their own set of secrets no one knows who to trust and with a killer on the loose it’s not long till accusations start to fly and things spin desperately out of control building up to a chaotic climax where everything is revealed and as Pierrot said everyone is guilty.
Well shot for his first film Abner Pastoll does a great job crafting an extremely tense atmosphere where the characters and the audience are constantly on edge. The story and script are captivating and Pastoll’s superb use and abuse of the language barrier for both comedy and dramatic effect is inspired.
The cast all turn in amazing performances elevating the film above other thrillers by the shear craziness and extreme characterization which causes the viewer to constantly question everyone and everything making the reveal at the end all the more exciting and powerful.
An impressive debut and a solid murder mystery Road Games will have you gripped and guessing all the way to the bitter end.
Road Games will be screening at Horror Channel FrightFest on Friday 26th August with a live commentary event with Director Abner Pastoll. It is also out on Digital Download from 26th August and DVD from 29th