Devil’s Woods Anthony White’s Dark Horror
Devil’s Woods: Film Details
Director: Anthony White
Writer: Anthony White
Release Date: October 25, 2015 (Ireland)
Release Format: Streaming
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Horror Sub-Genre: Horror
“A group of friends trying to repair their strained relationships decide to spend the weekend camping at a music festival. En route they stop off at a small town in the middle of rural Ireland. However, this seemingly idyllic country town is darkened by a history of strange events. Can a town that is inherently evil literally tear them apart? Can they survive…. The Devil’s Woods.”
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There is definitely something in the woods…but it’s not “the devil”. Two couples head off into the woods for some quality time and relaxation and to work on their relationships. But they soon discover they are not alone in the woods. There is a strange cult that is hiding in the woods and have been preying on people who visit the woods. There is a little excitement here and there, but the heart of the film doesn’t begin until the last 20 minutes if that.
The most disappointing part is that so much goes on in “The Devil’s Woods”, yet so little is expanded on. You see the scene with the cult for about 5 minutes and then the film cuts out. There is no elaboration on who the people of the cult are or what their motives are for doing what they do. The town is supposed to be very dark and cursed with a dark past, however, even this is not elaborated on.
There are so many questions that are left unanswered. It’s already bad enough “The Devil’s Woods” starts off slow with way too much unnecessary dialogue and horsing around between the actors. This happens for a good 40-50 minutes. That’s nearly the whole film, being that the film runs about 1 hour and 15 minutes. But when we finally get to the main event of the film, there is more, disappointment, as very little is developed and expanded upon. So, here we have a promising beginning, a long and tedious middle, and a disappointing ending.
“The Devil’s Woods” definitely is not an original idea. We see these kinds of films over and over again. No matter how many times we see them, they never get old, in my opinion; they just get tedious and disappointing. A group of friends heads off into the woods hoping to have a good time, only to become victim to a seemingly satanic cult. It’s hard to tell, as there is no elaboration on the cult itself at all. In any case, that’s a pretty solid plot to me, and I would watch these kinds of films any day. I’m a huge fan of the man vs nature vs beast genre, and I never get tired of it, so it really takes a terrible film to disappoint me.
“The Devil’s Woods” starts off like a classic found footage film, however, I don’t think it’s found footage. It looks more like a backyard or underground film. It starts off very intense, where we witness the first murder in the prologue. The movie then calms down, but instead of keeping the tension going, or taking this downtime to thoroughly develop the story, it becomes long and tedious with way too much dialogue between the actors; a lot of cinematic horseplay, I always say.
This goes on for nearly the remainder of the film before we finally get into the main event, which spans maybe 15-20 minutes or so. That’s 40-50 minutes director Anthony White could have taken advantage of to elaborate on the town’s past, its residents, and the mysterious cult. Why is this town dark? Why is it cursed? Who is this cult? What are their motives for what they are doing? The synopsis tells me more than the actual film does, and that’s not saying much.
The first and only scene we finally get with the cult members, and it’s a very brief experience; too brief to answer any questions. Who? What? Why? None of these questions are answered. Now, granted that there are some films where the directors take this more anonymous route (example: “The Strangers”, 2008), the film would still share some light on what exactly is going on and why (I.e. a flashback to past events, etc.), and it would be enough to satisfy the curiosity. That doesn’t happen in “The Devil’s Woods”.
The title “The Devil’s Woods” is very misleading. Why is it called “The Devil’s Woods”? Is it because there’s a group of crazy people stalking the woods and preying on trespassers? Is it the whole theory that the cult members are doing the devil’s work? Whatever “work” that may be, I wouldn’t know because very little is shown in the film. A film with no explanation or reason for it’s being is just a film.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Rating Score: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive [/box]