February 21, 2012 (U.S. DVD Premier)
Glenn Plummer as Jayson
Lee Perkins as Guy
Linda Bella as Ashley
Edward Hendershott as Burt
Claudia Perea as Ariel
Micro-budget Independent horror is acceptable to a certain Horror Freak palate, but the universe of appreciative fans continues to expand as more and more Indies gain wide theatrical release and exposure to those who may not have experienced them in the past. Add to the mix the concept of “found footage” and the barriers to entry for creating a horror feature have become very minimal indeed. All that is needed is a hand-held camera and an idea to put together a horror feature that could potentially go on to gross tens of millions at the box office.
There are many positives for horror fans when great ideas can make their way to their DVD players without regard for multi-million dollar budgets and big studio green lights. Then there is the seedy underbelly downside – low barriers to entry can mean that incredibly ill conceived and produced films have little to stop them from invading the available horror space. Case in point:Monsters in the Woods.
Monsters in the Woods is a found footage monster flick with a story inside a story as the making of a monster movie, ironically in the woods, is chronicled and documented using hand held cameras. Unfortunately for all involved there are actual monsters in them there hills, and they’re deadly.
The best thing to do is drop the bomb plainly and succinctly and get it over with – Monsters in the Woods stinks. This is the kind of “stinks” that is extremely difficult to get through and watch until the end. In fact it was necessary to pause and step away for a while two separate times through the course of this film. As effective as that tactic may sound, it also ensures that the un-joy of watching Monsters in the Woods will continue for seemingly countless hours… sometimes it’s better to just rip that band aid off and be done with it. Live and learn.
If this all sounds very mean, you haven’t seen the film. There really was not much thought or care put into it, and it kind of makes me mad. I do recognize that getting any film from concept to celluloid is a big job, and I really hate to be a downer, but damn… Everything, from acting to story to monsters to dialogue is just plain stupid. I guess it’s conceivable that the thought was to develop this film “freeform” with little direction, script, blocking or photography, and if that is the case then the film succeeded because there really aren’t any of those elements; Just some people talking about some stuff and getting killed by monsters, morphing into some kind of commando secret agent stuff (I think… don’t quote me on that though because I’m not 100% sure what happened through the film). It seems filmmaker Jason Horton went about making a film, but wasn’t concerned at all with making a decent film. It really does make me mad… not even campy, tongue in cheek or “so bad it’s good”. No real effort at all.
We at Best-Horror-Movies.com are trying to be as true to our name as possible concerning Indies and temper a strong desire to promote independent horror with the reality that we can’t possibly watch and review them all, so the attempt is to limit our coverage to the best Indies we come across. Unfortunately we are going to have a few that slip through the cracks, and Monsters in the Woods is an example.