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Backwoods - Movie Review

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Backwoods

And on the Twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . a slasher for the #MeToo era!

Backwoods begins by traveling along a winding and lonely dirt road.  This eerie opening scene is reminiscent of a David Lynch creation: just the road and the ambiance of the moment.  It fills our visual and auditory senses and leaves us curious about what is going on.  But all that is quickly eroded by the fact that there is a cheerleader in the trunk of this fast-moving vehicle.

"With a bit more meat on its bones, some more kills, and a bit of a flushed out story, Backwoods could have been a bit more memorable"


And Molly is struggling to get out of the trunk.  

Now, before you get to feeling too bad for her, Molly is a bit of a player.  She’s got three boys after her and she’s not above stringing them all along: a jock, a waterboy, and an outcast, who only seems to be fitting in with the druggies of the school.  Anyway, this set-up comes across as a whodunnit as, truthfully, it could be any one of these three hooligans who kidnap her.  This is important because the movie setting up a love triangle that it really wants to pay off.

Molly eventually escapes, we really don’t know who has bound her up and hauled her ass all the way to the isolated woods.  The point is there is something horrible awaiting her.  Because it is here, deep among the shadows of the night, where she escapes and flees into the night and, eventually, she comes face-to-face with the Hangman, a deformed zealot said to hang male trespassers and keep the women as "brides". Backwoods

Now, Molly, along with her best friend and would-be rescuer Noah must work together to avoid becoming his latest victims.

Yes, Backwoods, which stars Jeremy Sande, Tahj Vaughans, Isabella Alberti, Micahel Anthony Bagozzi, Erin Liley, and Scott Alan Warner, is a slasher.  The film - while all too brief - works best when we are down in the weeds with the mutant who should be front and center here.  The practical effects and the monster design - including its backstory - are all very interesting, but that’s not the focus of the movie which makes the whole slasher angle a bit of an afterthought.  

Directed and co-written by Thomas Smith, Backwoods is an interesting (but not always successful) horror film, as it seems to be more about Molly as a character study than it is a “mutant in the woods”.  Unfortunately, the acting is not up to snuff in order to pull this off and that story fails to inflate in a satisfying way when it comes to the teenage drama.  Now, with the killer in the woods, we get some gnarly kill scenes - yet, even those are gingerly sprinkled.

Due to its brief running time, the characterization here is a bit of a miss, as we don’t get much time with anyone but Molly and the love triangle our killer slashes through.  With a bit more meat on its bones, some more kills, and a bit of a flushed out story, Backwoods could have been a bit more memorable.  

The Backwoods are alive with the sound of hacking!  The film is now on VOD from Gravitas Ventures.

2/5 stars

Backwoods

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor:
Available on Blu-ray

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Backwoods

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
70 mins
Director
: Thomas Smith
Writer:
Erin Lilley, Thomas Smith
Cast:
Isabella Alberti, Jeremy Sande, Erin Lilley
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
One night. One party. Endless terror.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
Gravitas Ventures
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 1, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: High school cheerleader Molly woke bound and gagged in the trunk of her boyfriend's car. That was the high point of her night. After escaping her abductor and fleeing into the nearby forest, she comes face-to-face with the town urban legend: The Hangman, a deformed zealot said to hang male trespassers and keep the women as "brides". Now, Molly, along with her best friend and would-be rescuer Noah must work together to avoid becoming his latest victims.

Backwoods

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