The Woods (Review)


The internet does so many good things that I feel guilty bagging it.

This year alone the AFL Dream Team introduced new wrinkles on the head to head and around the grounds stat updates, I can check the release dates of the new Xbox games and Busta Rhymes CDs in seconds and of course whenever a hot celebrity takes rudie pictures of themselves google takes you there, (thank you Rihanna and your body issues!)

A few months ago I looked at the internet and realized that there was an opportunity for me to highlight my thoughts through reviewing movies, something that no-one else obviously thought of to that point… Since March this year however, I have noticed many copycats taking their cues from good ole OGR and publishing their film reviews on hyperspace for people to see.

And do I get any royalties? (That question isn’t rhetorical, I would like some money.)

That’s fine I guess, I’m just giving back to the community.

I read in an article on underrated horror gems that The Woods was a nice little unassuming movie that deserved greater acknowledgement, well I am here to acknowledge that it is very ordinary.

What tipped the scales was seeing that Bruce Campbell was in the cast, which is generally a positive that at least the movie will be interesting, even if it is bad. While you see Bruce early he doesn’t even have a line until over an hour in! this could have been any 50ish actor playing the “Dad” role, naming Bruce in a straight role seems like false advertising.

The year is 1965 and Bruce and his yappy missus are taking young Heather to boarding school, Heather has a red Dee-Lite Groove is in the Heart hairdo, and it arises early that she had a little firebug issue in previous years.

On her first day she is asked by the Principal to sit a quick test to see if she may be eligible for and advanced student scholarship, which she does. And while it is never implicitly said her results create great interest within the teaching group, all of whom look so pasty that they may have been dead for 20 years.

The usual new kid scenario applies, Heather has no friends so seeks out another loner, in this case the unpopular Marcy. Of course also being a high school movie there must be a bully, blonde bitch Samantha. No description needed here, normal bully stuff.

After the kids are in the dorm for the night, one girl starts telling the story of a group of witches that one day appeared randomly at the school who were all ultimately run into the woods where they were subjected to nastiness. Apparently one of the witches, Clara, still lives in the woods where she does naughty things to those people who are dumb enough to go in alone.

On her first night Heather has a nasty vision involving a disturbing young girl, guess wha’ happens? The girl from her vision, named Ann, is brought back to the dorm from the hospital.

Ann predictably enough goes missing, replaced by a scary pile of….. leaves? Meanwhile Heather starts to realize that she has powers of some kind, at least the power to make things stand up on desks anyway, nothing much more than that.

So after an hour Bruce talks, when he decides to drag Heather from the school, and then the fun starts, although not really.

The problem with this movie is in the first half when they are building stuff up I wanted to care, but by the second half I ran out of patience, and by the climactic last 5 minutes I didn’t care anymore.

In the climax there is so much shakey cam stuff and fast cuts that while you know in your head what is happening, you can’t tell by what you are seeing. Whether that is due to bad editing or the director realizing that being able to see the events as they occurred still would be underwhelming.

A note to the director, screaming, loud background noises and shakey camera work don’t create fear or uneasiness, just frustration and boredom.

Final Rating – 5 / 10. An hour of boring build up, with no worthwhile payoff. A waste of Bruce is a crime against humanity.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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