HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  Woods, The Barking
Year: 2006
Director: Lucky McKee
Stars: Agnes Bruckner, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel Nichols, Lauren Birkell, Emma Campbell, Marcia Bennett, Gordon Currie, Jude Beny, Bruce Campbell, Jane Gilchrist, Catherine Colvey, Kathleen Mackey, Cary Lawrence, Colleen Williams, Melissa Altro, Angela Bettis
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1965 and Heather (Agnes Bruckner) is on a car journey to a destination she would rather not be heading towards. She had become antisocial in adolescence and began to light fires, so her pushy mother (Emma Campbell) decided there was only one last resort and that would be to send her to a private school for improvement. Her henpencked father (Bruce Campbell) acquiesces, but on arrival at the isolated establishment, surrounded as it is by a thick forest, even he looks as if he is having reservations though says nothing. The head of the school is Ms Traverse (Patricia Clarkson), but what if her motives are more sinister than they appear?

Poor old The Woods didn't have much luck in its release, managing a few festival dates, sitting on the shelf thanks to distributor issues and then stuck out on DVD with little to no fanfare. This was unfortunate not only because it was the follow up to a cult hit from director Lucky McKee - May - but because it deserved a better fate than it received. Yes, it was derivative of girls school horrors from Picnic at Hanging Rock to Suspiria, but David Ross's script tapped into a more menacing fairy tale quality with echoes of Little Red Riding Hood in its accoutrements, brought out by McKee's careful direction.

Like May, the film took its time in revealing precisely what was going on, and even then it slightly fudged the issue in a welter of special effects during the finale, but its strength was indicated by the fact that most of the cast were female, and not simply for running around chased by the monster reasons either. The Woods took in the contradictory aspects of womanhood, from bullying and victimisation of fellow females to bonding and sisterly unions, often in the space of a single character. And let us not forget feminine rivalry, as Heather finds herself pitted against those who may or may not have her best interests at heart.

Heather's mother is a good example of this: Heather admits she wants her dead so she can live with her father back home and see her friends again, yet the relationship between her and the headmistress is a similar one. However, Ms Traverse has a hidden agenda, and the way that the girl is exhibiting weird talents like prophetic dreams and an ability to balance any object, from pencils on their point to parts of a broken radio, hints at why she is so precious to her new guardian - and why she won't be allowed to leave, not even when she gets into fights with the resident bully Samantha (Rachel Nichols).

The presence of Lesley Gore liberally applied to the soundtrack might make one suspect a lesbian angle, but as with other potential clich├ęs that loom in the script, these are subverted in unusual ways. There are tales told amongst the girls of a coven of witches who emerged from the forest and ended up axing a previous headmistress to death, and one girl's suicide attempt prompts all sorts of rumours. John R. Leonetti's moody photography perfectly complements the enigmas of the plotting, and it's nice that genre favourite Bruce Campbell once more gets to fight with scary trees after his Evil Dead debacles, but it's the antagonism between Heather and Ms Traverse that fuels the tension, expertly brought to life by Bruckner and Clarkson: when they are on screen, you can forgive the implausibilities and enjoy a neat variation on well-worn themes. The Woods breathes new life into them. Music by John Frizzell and Jaye Barnes Luckett.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2832 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: