Of all the directions this humble beginning could possibly go, there are a few factors steering this story in a truly horrifying direction. First, one of the cast of misfits is a clear sociopath with psychopathic tendencies, skilled at manipulating others down a path of his choosing. The second, a young woman who has transferred her yearning for popularity and acceptance into a passionate hatred for others who have the “perfect” life she craves, is more than happy to channel that hatred toward violent ends. The third, a shy boy who lives his life behind the lens of a video camera, has disconnected himself from the world to shield himself from the pain of neglectful parents and would pretty much go along with anyone who pays him a modicum of attention. The quiet town of Meadowoods is about to see some action.
With the guidance of the sociopath and motivating energy of the hateful girl, the three plan to do something that will be “remembered forever” – a pointless and random violent murder. The entire plan, from conception to endgame, will be chronicled by video boy so the world will know the devious pointlessness of the egregious act. As the plan progresses and small milestones are achieved it becomes evident that this is not just a fantasy of the disenfranchised but an actual atrocity that may indeed be carried out by these typical American teens.
Meadowoods is raw, viewed entirely from the point of view of the video digest of the developing murderous scheme. From a production quality point of view, however, the method is not nearly as disorienting or difficult to watch as most of the video camera POV films of late, namely Cloverfieldor Romero’s Diary of the Dead. The effect in this film is one of complete realism, which makes the whole thing that much more terrifying. Overt monsters and ax-wielding maniacs are scary to be sure, but nothing is more uncomfortable than witnessing a vicious killer who could also be that kid running through the school yard playing kick ball.
Meadowoods is extremely gripping, from the beginning psychosis slowly becoming evident to the rage of teen angst rearing its ugly head. The tension builds steadily and quickly without gore or overt violence as the horror of the situation gains momentum and becomes more and more real. The other shoe is going to drop, right? This whole thing is really a joke that they would never follow through with, right? Those are the questions that will race through your mind as each step toward the planned conclusion is acted out. The crescendo pulls out all the stops and the final sequences will rip your heart from your chest as darkness descends to pure shocking terror. Literally, several minutes of recovery will be necessary as the credits roll at the end ofMeadowoods to regain your bearings get yourself in order.
Over the years there have been several excellent low budget horror films that have done well commercially, primarily due to their realism, originality and the psychological power of their delivery. Meadowoods outshines any of them to date, knocking The Blair Witch Project andParanormal Activity down to the realm of child’s play.