Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Into the Woods

I just finished conducting an interview with the director of this low-budget indie-film, for Scars magazine. If you are interested in reading the interview, you can visit http://www.horrordecor.net/scarsinterviews2.htm

Before I conducted the interview, the director (Phil Herman) sent me a screener of the film.
Here's my review:

Genre - Horror
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 62 minutes
Directed by Phil Herman
Written by Phil Herman
Cast Includes: Nancy Feliciano, Phil Herman, and Tiffany Sinclair
With appearances by: Christopher Kahler, Lilith Stabs, Joe Scott, Owen Keehnen, Darla Doom, M. Catherine Wynkoop, and Joel D. Wynkoop

Rating: 1 Skull

Plot Summary:
Danielle is stuck in a dead-end relationship with a married man. It takes a turn for the worse when he leaves her and then comes back and rapes her.
Her life, which has been turned upside down, has just become worse. She mysteriously turns up in a place unfamiliar with her - on a lonely stretch of beach, near an equally desolate, unrecognizable forest. Stripped of everything, she wakes drugged and lost in the woods. With a few clues, and constant torments, she runs from an unseen character that little by little reveals his intentions and who he is.
When she returns to reality, an explosive climax ties up all loose ends and conflicts.
[Note: these are the words of the director - not mine]

Review:
The movie opens with a scenic view of rolling ocean waves, and a woman boogie boarding. . .
When she gets home, she pops in a horror movie which depicts a woman (Lilith Stabs) getting out of a bathtub, only to find a note on her computer screen, which reads "You can never leave me!" [next to the computer is a bloody knife with bits of animal fur around] The woman is then attacked by a crazed stalker (Chris Kahler)

[The reason that I am mentioning the first few minutes of the film is because they are pretty much the only decent minutes that the film has to offer, besides the last few minutes with Joel Wynkoop and his wife]

After watching the movie, Danielle (Nancy Feliciano) decides to turn in for the night. She strips naked and goes to be nude. [nothing to get excited about, trust me!]
In the middle of the night, she wakes up to find a naked man (director Phil Herman) standing at the foot of her bed - she doesn't scream, but merely mewls. . .

Danielle then wakes up in a shed of some kind, not knowing who or where she is. She then wanders around until she comes across a bag with a note inside. Here we learn that she has been drugged, which is behind her temporary memory loss. Through flashbacks we learn that Danielle has been having a 5-year affair with a married man (Phil Herman) When he decides to break it off, she ends up telling his wife, who then leaves him ~ is he the one doing this to her?!?

In all honesty, this film was awful!
It has atrocious acting for one thing, and things just did not make any sense - one minute Danielle has curly hair, while in the very next scene her hair is straight, and she is wearing a completely different outfit! In another scene, Danielle is hanging, tied from a shower rod - then the scene shift and is hanging (topless) from a tree in the woods! WHAT?!?] In my interview with the director, he tried to explain this 'disjointed method in time' to a dream kind of effect. . . To me, it failed to work!

There was another scene where Danielle is talking to herself - she states that there has got to be a logical explanation for all of this. She then asks, Am I dead? Am I crazy? Have I gone mad? I was wondering the exact same thing!

On a positive note, the editing by Christopher Kahler and the score by Joe Sherlock weren't half bad. . .

Here's the trailer for the film:

Even though I did not like the film, thank you Phil for the screener and for the interview!

If anyone is interested in this film, or the director's other projects, visit http://www.geocities.com/pharmpon/Falconvideo.html

Jason

2 comments:

cirquemacabre said...

Wow, my jaw has practically hit the floor after watching the YouTube clip!

thebonebreaker said...

HA!

Never say I didn't warn you :-)

J