Posted by: Seth Hall
Director Paul Hough’s latest film finds a group of people competing in a sinister marathon where the rules are excessively brutal, but all too familiar: “If you are lapped, you die. If you step off the path, you die. Many will start but only one may cross the finish line alive.”
Cue the raving comparisons to The Long Walk, The Running Man, and I am sure someone will throw in The Hunger Games as well.
I am not going to get into a discussion on formula plotting right now, but I will say that I am willing to give the film the benefit of the doubt for a couple of reasons. First of all, Paul Hough is the director of The Backyard. While I have never seen this film, the IMDB plot synopsis tells me that it is a documentary on the brutality of underground backyard wrestling and the lengths many will go to to win. This tells me that Hough has seen the real-life savagery of humans first hand, and he should know how to translate that savagery into an even more extreme setting.