Shown at this years FrightFest as a filler for Guinea Pigs which disappeared off the schedule at the last minute A Night in the Woods was by far one of the worst films I saw at the otherwise brilliant horror film festival.
Unoriginal, uninspiring and unbearably boring A Night in the Woods tries desperately hard to be clever and intellectual failing on both fronts and simply coming across as a pretentious acting exercise made by first year film students.
As you can guess from the dull and descriptive title A Night in the Woods is just that, a film about three people spending a night in the woods.
These woods however are the Dartmoor’s Wistman’s Woods a supposedly haunted place full of evil spirits where the annoying unrealistically camera obsessed Brody (Scoot McNairy) has taken his girlfriend Kerry (Anna Skellern) and a surprise guest in the form of her cousin Leo (Andrew Hawley) for a holiday away hiking.
Filming the entire time for seemingly no other reason than to antagonise the audience and the other characters Brody’s jealousy and paranoia at Kerry and Leo’s relationship pushes the couple into arguments however we soon discover that there is more to there past than both parties are admitting.
As tension grows so does the supposed and attempted terror as people disappear and something else turns up in there place throwing Kerry into a hellish night where she must fight to survive and the audience must struggle to stay awake.
Director Richard Parry, whose previous credits include the TV series Gypsy Wars, fails to create any tension or atmosphere at all resorting to loud noises and things jumping out at the camera to create any sort of fear making his movie one up from a cheap fairground ghost house and much less fun and value for money.
A failed found footage film that offers nothing new to the already overdone genre A Night in the Woods perpetual presents the question of ‘why are you filming this?’ taking it to the nth degree however the film is so bad you probably won’t care anyway.
Blatantly ripping off Blair Witch and Peeping Tom for all its good ideas the plot is nonexistent and the characters seem almost purposely aggravating and unlikable. Anna Skellern, last seen in the equally abysmal Siren, has all the charm and personality of a log in a woolly jumper and is so hateful and mundane her victimisation at the end is almost enjoyable.
Andrew Hawley is instantly forgettable which is a talent when the cast contains only three people but worst of all is Scoot McNairy a halfway decent actor who since Monsters seems to be choosing his projects using a divining rod rather than reading them (Wreckage Scoot, need I say more).
Taking way too much time desperately trying to build up the terrible cardboard characters and their dull relationship drama A Night in the Woods waits so long to actually become a horror film it nearly doesn’t qualify as one. Oh and to top it all off there’s a scene where they sing, as if the film wasn’t bad enough already!
A terrible, derivative, badly made mess of a movie unfairly forced on the FrightFest audience this will probably and hopefully never be seen by anyone else except the families of those involved who will have to hide their shame and boredom with platitudes and lies.
Trust me you would have more fun, more frights and more entertainment if you spent a night in your own garden than a night watching A Night in the Woods.
Here’s an interview with the cast and director from Frightfest (which is better than the trailer anyway):