18 March 2015

THE WOODS

THE WOODS

USA / UK / Germany, 2006
Director: Lucky McKee

3/10











My frequent readers probably know that I'm not exactly a fan of Lucky McKee's work. Ok, I adore his 2002 cult flick "May" (love letter review here) and I enjoyed his contribution to the first season of the "Masters of Horror" series, but all of his other works didn't do anything for me, especially the love-it-ot-hate-it shocker "The Woman" (I hated it) or the dreadful "All Cheerleaders Die" - and now that I finally seen his "May" follow-up "The Woods", I can add one more McKee flick
to the "Lucky Hall of Shame".


"The Woods" is a trite, dull and tiresome supernatural horror film about an all-girls private high school which is led and controlled by a coven of witches and a haunted forest. The basic premise is cool and intriguing, but the way McKee and screenwriter David Ross ("The Babysitters") handled it is rather lousy. The movie is obviousy influenced by Dario Argento's "Suspiria", though it's baffling how nearly every reviewer on the internet is solely comparing it to "Suspiria", when it actually steals and borrows from many other movies too, especially from "Picnic at Hanging Rock" (all-girls schol, pupils disappearing, the school's reputation struggling), "La Residencia" (all-girls school, new girl arrives, girls disappear) and "The Faculty" (teachers acting very weird, people disappear).

The whole thing already starts out weird and never really gets going. There are some tense and mildly eerie scenes, but for the greater part, "The Woods" plods along at snail's pace, hops between moments of silliness and utter frustration, shenanigans with balancing stones, unintentionally amusing-looking CGI tree-attacks, unnerving ghost voices, truckloads of open / unanswered questions, and - worst of all - a couple of uber-comedic scenes, all involving Bruce Campbell, that totally don't fit in. Don't get me wrong: I love Bruce Campbell, but he and his character are completely out of place. The entire movie is dark, serious and very gothic-y - but suddenly, good ol' Bruce pops up, delivering some of his well-known "Evil Dead" shtick which is actually so odd and inappropriate here, it completely took me out of the movie.


Although I didn't exactly like any of the characters, I admit that most of the acting is just splendid, especially the performances of Agnes Bruckner, Rachel Nichols, Marcia Bennett (whose character's head is constantly twitching - fun!), and the fantastic Patricia Clarkson. Also, some nicely done scenes involving leaves or milk, and a few cool 60s tunes (all by Lesley Gore). Other than that, "The Woods" is a gargantuan mishap, only recommended to die-hard McKee fans or to people who - for whatever reason - enjoy stuff like "The Moth Diaries" (ugh!).

4 comments:

  1. I used to think it was boring, but after a few watches I grew to really enjoy it. Needed more Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah. I so didn't like him in it. It needed less McKee & David Ross IMO...

      Delete
  2. I wouldn't mind watching this, actually.

    Hopefully watching 'It Follows' soon.

    Enjoy your weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watch "It Follows" and stay far away from "The Woods" :)
      Have a great weekend, Yvonne!

      Delete

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