Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I was able to review the survival horror movie Girl in Woods (2016) by writer/director Jeremy Benson. Since it does not spoil anything too major, I will let IMDb describe the general plot for me:
"After a tragic accident, Grace is lost and alone in the Smoky Mountains. Grace's struggle for survival is made more complicated by her troubled past. Battling the demons in her mind may be the only way to come out alive."
Four days before I saw this feature I was actually in the Smoky Mountains; so I watched this hoping to see the beauty of the range on display. To an extent, that majesty was captured, but it was also used to show the intimidating remoteness of the Smokies. The idea of getting lost in the mountains is scary enough, but the idea of it psychologically unraveling a person is what adds a unique twist to this survival horror movie.
The head games that the movie plays with both the lead actress and the audience set this apart from many similar horror features. The line between reality and fantasy is often blurred leaving us to wonder what is within her head vs. what has actually occurred or is occurring. This sense of uncertainty was so convincingly pulled off that I was not sure whether or not one of the major scenes in the feature has even occurred in the first place.
Luckily, the lead actress was strong enough to portray the delicate mental state of her character. For the most part her range was quite good which was important given that this is a mostly one woman show. I will admit, there were a few stumbles in the acting, but for the most part the people present felt natural enough that it only intensified the terror of the situation.
To be quite honest, though, this feature is not so much scary as disorienting and atmospheric. There were no real jump scares nor much in the way of the creepy creature moments that comprise what we would normally expect from a horror feature. That being said, it does make up for its lack of frights with its off kilter storyline that keeps the audience as in the dark as the protagonist.
All in all, this dark psychological survival thriller does have some weaknesses, but the neat twists and structure kept me engaged throughout the feature.
- The Creeping Craig
**Note: Girl in Woods will be released on June 3rd to rent or own on Comcast, DirecTV, iTunes, Dish, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vudu and more.