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Monsters In The Woods (2012)

DVD Cover (Osiris Entertainment)
Genres / Traits:
Creature Film, Horror, Religious Horror, Slasher Film, Cinéma Vérité
Director:
J. Horton J. Horton
Starring:
Glenn Plummer Glenn Plummer
Lee Perkins Lee Perkins
Linda Bella Linda Bella
Edward Hendershott Edward Hendershott
Claudia Perea Claudia Perea

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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A micro-budget movie crew treks into the wilderness to shoot horror scenes for their unsellable indie-drama. They soon find themselves in the midst of their own real horror movie, as they are hunted by a large group of creatures. --TMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: January 01, 2012
Director Jason Harrisford's career certainly isn't going the way he wants it to. He's got a few films under his belt, but he just can't get his latest film to sell. It seems the problem is that the original cut doesn't have enough sex and violence, so his producer, Bravo, drags him out into the wilderness to film a few shots of bimbos getting fucked in a tent and torn apart by the horrible half-man/half-turkey killer with the most inept crew that barely-any-money can buy. Maybe he should have dug a little deeper into his couch cushions for that part of the budget, however, as an accident with a camera boom leaves the hapless director lying dead on the ground. While most of the crew understandably thinks things are a wrap, Bravo is able to convince them to finish the product in Harrisford's honor. And that's when the horror they're trying to create on camera suddenly switches to reality, as they find themselves assaulted by a pack of ravenous monsters.

This is quite obviously a micro-budget affair. Still, they didn't let that get in the way. The monsters themselves, the reason people are going to watch this in the first place, were certainly not slacked on. They look like humanoid spiders, and watching wave after wave descend on their victims was a definite treat. The actual violence, the blows themselves, was never shown. Instead, the camera would be focused on the face of the attacker, and then switch to the aftermath. And from branches through throats and faces getting ripped off, the aftermath looked pretty damned good. Granted, I would have preferred they kept it a little more realistic. For example, the aforementioned girl with the face removed continues on in the movie, bare muscles to the world.

One of the things Horton raved about is the quality of his collected actors and actresses; I have to say this was quite the mixed bag here. Interestingly enough, gender just so happened to be the dividing line. Glen Plummer certainly turned in a very nice performance, too bad his character died early on. Lee Perkins and Edward Hendershott were also pretty good, but both fell victim to stereotypical writing of stoner and black guy respectively. A shame too, as Hendershott would have fared a lot better without all the Ebonics thrown in. Now, about that estrogen side of the table: Claudia Perea, Linda Bella, and Ashton Blanchard were all bad. Really bad. Of course, Jacqui Holland did manage to knock valley-girl speak and running through the woods topless out of the park. Girl power indeed.

Writer/director Jason Horton wanted to inject a bit of autobiography into this. Indeed, the whole backstory of Plummer having to reshoot his movie to make it sell is one he faced personally, and he name-drops two of his former movies: Trap and Edges of Darkness. While I'm sure it felt good to vent, most of that is lost on the audience. We basically just want to see some people get eaten by the monsters in the woods, and thankfully, Horton is able to successfully blow off said steam without it swallowing the titular side of the story. It merely serves as the set up that got this group out into the wilderness in the first place. Nice to see he's not egotistical enough to let his own struggle swallow the whole project; a lot of directors wouldn't be able to say the same.

Monsters in the Woods is definitely a fun little romp. If it hits the Netflix scene, pick it up; it'll serve for a nice night in front of the tube, especially if you and your buddies have a b-movie night. 8/10.
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Chad #1: Chad - added 03/12/2012, 09:51 PM
I enjoyed this one, but I really wish the director had lived a little longer. He was easily the most entertaining character in the movie. Still, solid 8/10, agreed.
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