Director: Max Perrier
Starring: Jared Cohn, Ardis Barrow, Victoria Curtain .USA. 1h 35m
A romp through the woods in search of secret fields of dope, turns into a hellish nightmare, filled with native tribal monsters and strange dangerous entities in Max Perrier’s tepid horror.
The typical loser, while down on his luck, calls in a debt from a friend which involves trading all outstanding money for whatever homegrown he has been busy growing out in the wilderness. Eager to get his hands on the green gold he heads out speedily with his girlfriend but finds his sister stowed away in the back of the pick up before finding the sweet spot. She’s a pain in the ass but another pair of hands and they’ve gone too far to turn back.
Once night begins to fall and they are moments away from the spot marked x, strange things begin to happen and the girlfriend goes missing in the woods. In a desperate search for her brother and sister look through the night while seemingly keeping one step ahead from something stalking them, or is it just their paranoia?
There’s no real stand out actors in the movie, it seems the native mythology is the key character but what kinda let the film down is how the indigenous people are portrayed, I don’t think it was intentional but the morning after the bro and sis pass a native girl walking down the only road in the damned forest, they stop and give her a lift but she just acts so annoyingly out of her head and gets defensive when they realise she’s wearing missing girls boots but later on in her cabin you discover she’s a drunk and bites a lot.. The only other people the duo meet in the forest are either naïve and scared or just scared and difficult.
It feels a lot like the Barrens with a touch of Ravenous and everything in between, but the there’s only two breakaway scenes from the constant muted forest, a short break down the river, a journey cut short by a rogue skeleton bursting a hole in the hull of a boat and one dream sequence filmed with a sort of Harris Shutter to give a spectral blur are the only moments that stand out from the norm.
It seems Max Perrier’s attempt to blend together the Wendigo ethos into something a little prehistoric doesn’t pay off as well as it sounds, however I did enjoy the movie until the final act when it just seemed a bit too heavily laid on. The beatings and stabbings the hero takes just doesn’t seem plausible and only in that mind frame does the film fail a little but it has quite an interesting show stopping ending it seems like all the other sins can be forgiven.
In a broad sense it works as a dark chase through the woods, a slasher with very little but brutal slashing, but it’s something you only need to see the once
Related: Ravenous (1999), The Barrens (2012),
Lists: Forest Gods and Monsters