The Trail (2013) - A Movie Review

The Trail (2013) - A Movie Review by Diana Pierce

Directed, written and produced by William Parker, The Trail is about a young woman being stranded along the Oregon Trail and it appears to be a simple low budget film with very few members of its cast or crew. The credits are going only to four main characters.

Jasmin Jandreau plays the lead character, Amelia for whom this story is focused on throughout its duration. Her husband Levi played by Tommy Nash talks her into traveling west in search of a better life and a dream of seeking a fortune as the gold rush is in full bloom. Against her inner voice and the pleas from her best friend Christina played by Brianna Oppenheimer, Amelia agrees to leave her home, her friends and her family. She feels compelled to honor her husband’s wishes and support his ventures no matter what the outcome may be.

The Oregon Trail is a fierce one and the mistake of heading forward without the group they were traveling with may have cost Levi his life. Amelia rides under the awning of the covered wagon when the nightmare from Hell begins. Levi instructs her to stay hid. She hides under a pile of clothing and listens to the chaos going on outside. After enough silence has gone by, Amelia braves stepping out of the wagon only to find her husband dead and their horses gone. The only evidence as to who the intruders were was a lone arrow stuck into a nearby surface.

Amelia faces many challenges alone her journey. She carries bare necessities in a wooden suitcase which seems to be fairly light considering it is backed with heavy things like an oversized Bible, quilt, wedding dress, glass bottle of water and cooking supplies. But that’s not the only out of element things you’ll notice in this film.

The Trail-trailer

Along the way as Amelia carries her belongings alone the trail she stops to rest for the night. At first she is not successful in building a fire. Then one day she leaves reading glasses lay in her opened Bible and the sun starts to set some pages on fire. Throughout the rest of the story she has no trouble about having a fire even without the sunshine as she stumbles through woods covered with ice and snow.

Besides from a young boy that also seems to be abandoned becoming Amelia’s traveling companion, she runs into very little encounters with either man or beast on this long trip west in which she walks the entire journey. Earlier she had borrowed a pair of boots from a dead cowboy she found leaning against a tree because with snow becoming an issue her slippers were not meant for rough terrain. There once was an encounter with a raccoon. And she caught a fish in a stream using a piece of her wedding dress as a net. Seems odd not a deer or any other type of wildlife was seen along the trail.

Amelia’s traveling companion speaks his native tongue and even though she only speaks English communication seems not to be a problem. Her famous line, “Come, boy”, seems to work.

This is a story of courage and determination to survive. I would say this young actress will have a flourishing career. She does her character proud despite things like an occasional out of place occurrence of the camera catching a slight glimpse of a crew member or boom microphone.

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