Think “Bloody Mary” except instead of a mirror, you cruise down a darkened stretch of road until you stop your car in front of an old, red house. Honk your horn three times to summon … well, whatever it is exactly.
The specifics differ according to which version of the legend you were introduced to first. In some cases it’s three women who were burned as witches, in others it’s a Native American white deer spirit of good fortune. In some — we kid you not — it’s “flesh-eating albinos.” Honk your horn precisely three times and flesh-eating albinos will come out to tear you to pieces.
Mostly, it’s just a spooky old stretch of road (that was far spookier back when it was less developed in the 1990s). The only verifiable claim of darkness comes from the research of White Plain historian Eric Pleska.
On New Year’s Day 1870, Isaac Buckhout (of the family from which the road got its name) invited his friend and hunting buddy Alfred Rendall and his son Charles to the Buckhout home in Sleepy Hollow. Believing his wife was cheating on him, likely with one of the two Rendalls, Buckhout excused himself from drinks before returning with a shotgun. He shot and killed Alfred and wounded Charles, then beat his wife to death with the butt of his gun. Called “The Mad Muderer of Sleepy Hollow,” Buckhout was caught, tried, and hanged for his crimes.
Written and directed by newcomer Matthew Curie Holmes, Buckout Road features the talents of Evan Ross (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2, Jeff, Who Lives At Home), Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Avengers: Age of Ultron and TV’s Wynonna Earp,) and the timeless Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple).
The plot revolves around three young people who become entrenched in the dark history and urban legends surrounding Buckout Road, following the mysterious suicide of a well-liked college professor. Sharing nightmares of the road’s various myths and deaths, they come to believe that trying to debunk the road’s tall tales might not have been a wise course of action.
The film debuted in Canada in September 2017 (where it was chiefly filmed, despite the subject matter), and was recently shown at the Calgary International Film Festival. It won its first award — Best Thriller Feature Film — at the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival, and was nominated for both Best Picture and Best Director at the World Music and Independent Film Festival.
You can check out the official trailer for Buckout Road below: