The Woods Within (2014)
Director: Brandon Prewitt
Writer: Brandon Prewitt
Starring: Tori Ahr, Tyler Riley, Jon Kovach
I was lucky enough to be asked to review upcoming indie horror film “The Wood Within” by writer. director, and friend Brandon Prewitt. It’s not a perfect film, and I told him that, and I offered to hold off on the review until after the film was released. But, I gotta say, Brandon has the guts to take the bad with the good and for that I applaud him.
The film is about a group of kids who go off into the woods for a party. Well, you can guess where this is going. True to form, people start dying. Accusations fly, trust is put to the test, and old wounds are opened as the teens try to figure out who the killer is before it’s too late!
There’s a lot going for this film. Immediately I noticed that they were using a pretty decent camera and the person using it was talented. The angles are good and the panning is smooth. The film looks very good. And along those same lines, so do the fx. If you read this site often, you know what a big fan of prac fx I am. Well, all the gore here is done well. No cgi blood to be found and that is always a plus in my book. In fact, there is one bit of cgi, a car exploding, but it actually is done really well! I’ve seen a whole lot worse in movies made with a whole lot more money, so kudos!
Some of the actors are also pretty decent. Even the actors that aren’t quite up to snuff are tolerable with the exception of the actress playing Brittany. But, hey, she’s the first of the teens to die, so problem solved. Acting aside, the dialogue is very well written and the story, while not breaking any molds, does leave you guessing until the very end. Several times I found myself trying to figure out who the killer was only to be proved wrong. And there’s a pretty good fake out or two in there as well.
OK, now for the downside. The film is short. It comes in at only about an hour long. This in itself would not be a problem so much if it didn’t take half of that to get into the actual meat of the film. The first half isn’t bad. No, it sets the characters up and displays their dynamics, setting the stage for the eventual mistrust and accusations that are to fly after the killings start. But I just wish there was more. That may just be personal opinion though. I personally love two and even three hour long movies. If a film is good, I am in no rush to get to the end.
I already mentioned that some of the acting is hit or miss, but again, even the bad isn’t that bad. But, coming off of that, in some of the scenes it was difficult to hear the actors at all. It seems that there is no boom mic being used and that all of the recorded audio is from the on-cam microphone. It isn’t a huge problem because it only occurs a couple of times early in the film, but for those few occasions I could barely hear the audio even with my volume set to the highest limit. Barely, of course, meaning it could be heard. It was just quiet.
For an indie production with a budget of less than $10k, it’s a pretty good film. And I’ll sit through some just-OK acting for a decent script. You can tell a lot of effort went into this and it came out better than a lot of films made on million dollar budgets. And really, at the end of the day, isn’t the point of the film “does it entertain?” I say “Yes it is and yes it did.” So, give it a shot! It might just surprise you!
Remember, we’re throwing open our doors to the indie horror film makers of the world! If you are making a horror film, or know someone who is, we want to help them get the press they deserve!
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