16 January 2015

Don't Go in the Woods 2010 - REVIEW

When you hear the name Vincent D'Onofrio, slasher musical definitely isn't the first thing that comes to mind. His name and the fact that it's his directorial debut is undoubtedly what has brought or will bring 90% of viewers to Don't Go in the Woods. It's not the first time an actor has branched out into directing and it certainly won't be the last. So that raises the question, is D'Onofrio as good of a director as he is an actor?

At the insistence of their leader Nick (Matt Sbeglia), an indie band goes to the woods in order to focus on writing some new music that will hopefully help propel them into stardom. Unfortunately, the rest of the band doesn't take life or the music as seriously as Nick does and immediately busts out the weed and booze. It doesn't take long for the groupies to crash the party and everything starts falling apart. As Nick's anger over the situation increases, the group becomes divided and people quickly start disappearing.

One can only imagine that the majority of this cast was put together based entirely on their vocal ability. But in all fairness, when the characters of a film break out in song every couple of minutes, there isn't much call for acting. Which is pretty much the case here. Don't Go In the Woods is really just an acoustic free for all with a built in soundtrack; hell even the groupies get in on it. The little bit of acting we do get, is bogged down by horrible dialogue and bad film making decisions in general.

I can appreciate that they tried to do something different, but Don't Go In the Woods missed the mark and ends up landing right next to every other "twenty-somethings getting killed in the woods" cliche around... but with singing. Girl gets mad at boy and leaves... singing. Boy gets lucky in sleeping bag... singing. Friend just got murdered and I need to warn the others but I have to sing! What's worse is that it's not even cheery, cheery, everything is awesome singing, It's super dark, I wish I were dead emo shit. In fact the whole movie plays out like one long amateurish emo music video.

Even the horror isn't really horror. You have to get through about 40 minutes of campfire sing-a-longs before anything actually happens and then most of it happens off screen. Once you get passed the dodgy camera work, bad acting, even worse songs and horrible story you're left with the only two redeeming qualities of the film... Eric Bogosian and the credits. In the end, Don't Go In the Woods fails as a horror film or as a musical so unless you just want to intentionally give yourself a screaming headache, you should pass on this one. AND, should you decide to watch it anyway, don't say I didn't warn you.

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