This film got a far from auspicious start; added to the schedule of Fright Fest as a last minute replacement for Guinea Pigs, which was inexplicably pulled. This was a great opportunity which sadly went to waste as the general consensus was that it was the worst film on show at an otherwise brilliant horror festival. The audience that this stinker was forced upon were horrified, in completely the wrong way.
Boring, uninspired and so unoriginal it beggars belief, A Night in the Woods tries way too hard to be intellectual and clever, and fails spectacularly on both counts. The resulting mess is the kind of film that a first year film student makes, and then ‘accidentally’ loses from their CV in their second year. It says it all that they couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a decent title; as this one does exactly what it says on the tin.
Three people spend the night in the woods, no ordinary woods of course, but ones that are haunted by evil spirits. The instantly annoying snap happy camera fiend Brody (Scoot McNairy) takes his girlfriend Karen (Anna Skellern) and her cousin Leo (Andrew Hawley) for a fun packed hike amongst the spooky trees. Brody films constantly, for no apparent reason than to make the irritated audience head to the popcorn stand.
Brody also has a deep paranoia and jealousy over the relationship Kerry has with her cousin, the couple inevitably embark on furious arguments, and it comes as no surprise that there is more to this than any of them are admitting. As the tension grows, so does the feeble attempt at terror; people disappear, other things take their place, Kerry fight to survive the nightmare…and the audience fight to stay awake.
Richard Parry is the director responsible for this debacle, and should hang his head in shame. Its hard to think of a film that fails so spectacularly to create any kind of atmosphere or tension whatsoever, and having to resort to things that jump at the camera and loud noises just goes to make this film feel like one of those cheap and nasty haunted house rides that drive around with one person in the car at outdated amusement parks.
Found footage is a genre that has been so overused it brings a universal groan when you see those dreaded words; and to use this in such an incompetent and unoriginal way is an insult to those great films that brought the genre to the forefront. In fact, this is such a blatant but derisory rip off of Peeping Tom and Blair Witch that it beggars belief, and the use of highly unlikeable characters and non-existent plot is unforgivable.
Anna Skellern seriously needs to find her niche is life, as it certainly isn’t acting. She was bad enough in that other stinker, Siren, and she has all the charisma on the screen of a log in a jumper. She is supposed to be the pivotal character, we are meant to care about her fate, yet all you want is for her to meet a grisly demise and rid us of her for good.