The SyFy channel has a bit of a reputation for churning out fantasy mixed with disaster movies but Black Forest, is a welcome departure from this. The story doesn’t follow the predictable and formulaic plots that the channel is known for, and this is partly why they decided to premier the first half of the movie in a more prime-time slot than usual.
The film tells the story of several tourists who head to Europe and go to the Black Forest where they stay in a location which, according to a tour guide, is where the Grimm fairytales were authored. They go with the tour guide, who is rather eccentric, into the forest where he performs some sort of strange ritual. The tourists in the group assume this is a part of the tour and they are unaware that he is setting a trap for them.
A woman from the group has her baby stolen from her by a mysterious fairy and suddenly all of the participants of the tour find themselves in an alternate reality. In this reality the fairytale characters from Grimm have come to life and are tormenting people. Some of the characters we see are a troll, spiders, and a witch. The movie has a dark sense of humour but there are moments when this goes too far and the movie does just becomes a little too silly.
The movie is straddling a line between campy and being a seriously scary film. The actors they have employed to make this possible do an excellent job and include Ben Cross, who was previously known for appearing in Chariots of Fire. He plays the eccentric tour guide and has a certain manic creepiness about him which works very well.
In a recent interview, Ben Cross has described the film as a big mixup of the Grimm fairytales. He says that in the movie, the characters are having to deal with a situation where the fairytales of come together in a horrifying way. In the production the fairytales come to life in a way that is quite disturbing and this production is certainly one of the most imaginative that the channel has produced for some time.
Unfortunately, the movie does seem very scattered. The number of ideas that are trying to be involved in the film is great and this means that it can sometimes be a touch confusing. At many points the audience will be thinking that the movie doesn’t make much sense, and they will be right.
The audience will also be frustrated at how stupid some of the characters seem to be, they make decisions that are obviously going to put them in positions of peril and they seem to be completely ignorant of that. The fact that some of these characters are so stupid will bring a great amount of relief to the audience when they finally, and justifiably, are killed off.
The movie is certainly interesting and it would be nice to say that it is a good production overall. Unfortunately, the script could have done with some more work. It should have been rewritten a few times to make everything come together a bit more neatly.
As with many of these productions by the SyFy channel it would also have benefited from a slightly higher budget. The movie is certainly not bad though, but it doesn’t quite make it into a movie that could be recommended. That said, if you are a particular fan of the Grimm fairytales, or enjoy movies of this nature, then you’re probably going to get a bit of a kick out of it