Fuck hyperbole. At its best, Toad Road charts a path of authenticity about youth drug culture that the preachy and artificial Requiem for a Dream was scared and ignorant of. A plot is 2nd in favor of meaning: the misguided sense of belonging drugs create, leading to chaos. While its lead characters are well developed and are nicely acted, the urban legend works beautifully as a metaphor for collapsing to addiction.
This was awful. The first forty minutes is literally just druggie scenesters getting fucked up and rambling on about nothing. Not that you want to know any of these obnoxious kids, but character development is skipped altogether, forcing you to deduce what they are about. There is no real horror element here, but the ambiguity of the end is apparently supposed to serve as horror in and of itself. It fails.
The genre elements here are half-baked and unsatisfying, but as a portrait of 21st century drug culture, this is totally authentic. Because I'm undecided as to whether that's a big or small achievement, I'm tempted to give it only three stars, but parts of it were shot in Maryland, so respek.