Monday, 16 April 2012

In The Woods (1999)

In The Woods is so cringeworthy, so awful, so poorly acted, so incompetent in so many ways, so full of terrible dialogue that it's one of those bad movies that becomes comedy gold. Unfortunately, for me it's never the kind of comedy gold that makes you forgive it for all of the sins and clutch it to your heart and rewatch it every time you have a movie-themed party night. But I know that the man who recommended it to me would say otherwise, and I'm sure that he'd be able to gather quite a decent group of supporters.

It's the fact that the movie isn't COMPLETELY inept on every single level that just stops this from transforming into something really superb. Writer-director Lynn Drzick actually knows where to point the camera most of the time. Sadly, that would appear to be the limit of her knowledge as she doesn't seem able to wring even half-decent performances from a cast of uniformly terrible actors and her script is one of the most laughable things I've encountered on film since watching The Room.

I guess I should still attempt to describe the ridiculous plot. Alex Kerwood (D. J. Perry) is a firefighter who turns to the bottle whenever things get too stressful, much to the upset of his wife, Helen (Aimee Tenaglia). At the start of the movie we see Alex leaving a burning building and lashing out at people because someone died. He turns to drink to take the edge off the day. When Alex then goes for a day hunting with Wayne (Jim Greulich) everything takes a turn for the worse when the pair find a grave and Wayne insists on digging the thing up, in an effort to possibly find one of the victims of a killer who has been terrorising the area. Something chases the pair through the woods and they then turn to drink to take the edge off the day. It's not long before body parts are being left in the vicinity of Alex's house and big, bad, stuffed toys are causing havoc and . . . . . . . . . . . you'll probably end up having to turn to drink to take the edge off the day.

There are too many choice moments to tell you about here, too many examples of how laughably dire this whole thing is, I just can't single anything out. Well, maybe one or two highlights would include: the performance of Rachel Walker as she tries to win the award for absolute worst acting in a cast full of terrible actors, the "special" effects used throughout and, my own personal favourite, a serial killer who lets a couple of loose fingers spill from his bag while he's getting money out to pay for a new knife. You're possibly already laughing hard at what I've just told you but, I assure you, it's very, very true.

If you know what to expect from this awful movie then you'll still get some entertainment value from it. Everyone else should approach it with extreme caution or avoid it altogether.


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