film reel image

film reel image

Friday, February 11, 2022

In the Forest 2022 * * * Stars


In the Forest was released in January of this year. It represents the type of genre fare that makes my ears perk up. "Forest" is a backwoods horror thriller, a sort of low budget snuff fest where the helmer gets the best he can out of limited resources (basically one shooting location in Graeagle, California). "I hate the outdoors". Indeed you do.

In the Forest tops out at 83 minutes. It ends at full tilt leaving a few questions about its characters (like who they are and what their deal is). The acting by everyone involved is pretty decent though. I mean these guys look exhausted. That's probably because director Hector Barron was relentless in gauging certain performances out of his game cast (mainly the lead in Debbon Ayer).  

So yeah, we've seen this movie before (no pun intended). Yup, we've got a Texas Chainsaw/Hills Have Eyes/Deliverance situation going on here. Darned if In the Forest doesn't try to freshen up the proceedings and creep you out big time. Look out for that mutant girl persona who lies dormant in a basement. Need I say more. 

"Forest" builds tension from the opening frame. I mean why wouldn't it. A miserable family in the form of a daughter, a mother, and a grandfather is barreling down the road in an RV (sound familiar?). You just know stuff is about to get real. Said family parks their RV, their wheel gets stuck in the dirt, and an unlikable landowner wants them to leave. Insert chaos and conflict. In the Forest gives the viewer yet another reason to not wanna go camping. I hate camping anyway so my reasoning is nil and void.

S'mores and pop-up tents begot, I'll recommend In the Forest because movies like it always keep my edgy and upset (that's terror baseline 101). "Forest" is messy editing-wise but it gets the job done cause it's macabre. Its setting is well, idyllic (I dug the wide, aerial shots of tree-trunk-ed Northern Cali). If In the Forest wasn't so compact, so principally style mongered, and so loose ended, I would've praised it even more. Not so "deep forest". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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