Have I seen this movie before? Nope. Did I have the poster for this movie? Yup. Why? That’s a rhetorical question, and might only apply if you are blind, otherwise you would see Eliza Dushku on the poster, and you’d immediately know why I had it. To be fair, I was working at a movie theater at the time, and I had a habit of stealing posters that I only kind of sort of thought I might want, only to eventually throw it away. I think I considered going to see this movie, then my friend Joe, known as “Beardy” to some, told me that the movie had something to do with “retards” in the woods. Granted, those might not necessarily have been his words of choice, however, whichever word he DID use, the connotation of “retards” was implied. I was quite a busy guy at the time this movie came out, so I didn’t find time to watch a movie about retards killing people in the woods. Having to type that statement out, looking back on my life, and realize that I am now the kind of person to watch movies about retards killing people in the woods eight years after they originally came out…yeah, that doesn’t make me feel better.
Good thing you are wearing appropriate gear, with your cargo shorts and everything. Ya know, for all of your cargo…that is best carried in pockets…
Two rock climbers are climbing rocks. If they weren’t climbing rocks, why would I call them rock climbers? Either way, the details don’t really matter, because they get killed by unseen murderers. Some dude is then driving his car through the backwoods of somewhere, and when he stops to ask directions, the single-toothed gas station attendant is of no help. While exploring alternate routes to his job interview, he gets too caught up listening to Queens of the Stone Age and smashes into a car that is parked in the middle of the road. The car belongs to two douche-y couples and Eliza Dushku, and all the cars are fucked. While exploring the woods, and without getting cell phone reception, the members of the group start getting picked off one by one using various manner of backwoods murder tools, like barbed wire and…more barbed wire, I think. At some point, there are only three left, and they climb some sort of forest ranger watch tower thing, so they climb it. While climbing it, the mysterious woodsmen set it on fire. We then get to see a nice little Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon type of tree branch hopping chase scene, resulting in two survivors and one dead woodsmen. Dushku eventually gets herself captured, and the main guy goes to rescue her. He does, and the two of them escape. But guess what? There is still one woodsman alive! It’s almost like they were setting themselves up for a sequel!
Behind you, Dushku! BEHIND YOUUUUU! All you do is have to turn…I just hope it’s not…A WRONG TURNNNNNNN!
Original and inventive this movie was not, but I was still able to pay attention to it, which is saying a lot. The plot was simple enough, and has been seen countless times, but it was relatively different for a Hollywood release that people must have though would be well-received. For as far-fetched as the chase scene on the tree branches was, I hadn’t really seen that in a horror movie before. Something that I had seen in a horror movie before that this movie did was the opening credits montage. It combined images of deformed people, newspaper images about people being in the woods, and essentially just giving you an idea of the fact that the villains were people who were victims of inbreeding and lived in the woods. It was almost the exact same opening as in the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, which instead used images of nuclear weapons, the desert, and had a light-hearted, and therefore creepy, song playing. However, after some fact-checking, The Hills Have Eyes came after this movie! So that movie took the opening credits of this movie, but just with the addition of a song, made it a lot more creepy, and got the movie off to a better start. In fact, Rampaige even commented on how similar this movie was to The Hills Have Eyes, and she’s not nearly as big of a dork as I am. Ultimately, this movie’s heart was in the right place, and almost did some cool things, but wasn’t original enough to stand on its own as a viable franchise. That won’t stop me from watching the two sequels!
Wolfman Moon Scale