Another foreign movie this week, this time a Spanish/French/UK collaboration. No joke! While this one isn't exactly a horror film in the traditional sense, as it's more of a Deliverance/Straw Dogs style thriller (its filed under drama on my shelf), I think it'll satisfy any fan of the genre.
The Backwoods (2006)
Here's the film in a nutshell. Two couples are spending the summer in a remote vacation house in Spain in 1978. The two men go out hunting one day and happen upon an abandoned house with a deformed animalistic girl chained up inside. Naturally, they take her back to their place, and a world of hell is unleashed upon them once the locals come looking for her.
First off, the cast of this movie is amazing. Gary Oldman (The Professional, Dark Knight) and Paddy Considine (In America, Hot Fuzz) are two of my favorite actors and it's truly a pleasure getting to see them work together in the same film. The rest of the cast is equally as impressive and they all create memorable and unique characters and the dynamics between them all are very interesting. Like I said, I wouldn't really consider this a horror film, but nonetheless seeing amazing acting and great fleshed out characters in a film like this is a real rare treat. It aint your typical backwoods hillbilly tale. Wrong Turn this is not! It's also a treat to see the main characters for once not be teenage couples, but actual adults. It makes everything a lot more powerful as seeing adults in danger just has more impact then seeing stupid teens in danger, does it not? More than anything, The Backwoods is a character study with horror elements thrown in the mix and it's a wonderful concoction.
This is one of those movies that I just knew I was gonna like as soon as I heard about it. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for weird deformed girls and with Oldman and Considine signed on, I knew nothing could go wrong. It's also one of those movies that I knew I liked within the first couple minutes of it playing, which doesn't happen so often. When a movies opening credits have you glued to your seat, that's something impressive! And believe me, you'll be glued to your seat right up until the awesome western style stand off finale.
What I like most about this movie is it leaves a lot to be discussed once it's over. There's an interesting moral dilemma throughout it and oddly enough, you almost don't blame the "bad guys" for doing what they're doing and for doing what they've done (at least some of them). Many horror films have delved into the dangers that come with trespassing into the territory of others (Hills Have Eyes, for example), but it's never been done in such a way as in this one. The movie is, at its heart, about the miscommunication and discrimination between social classes and the problems that can cause. I'd like to get more into that whole idea, but to say any more would be spoiling major things. If anyone's seen it, leave a comment so we can discuss.
The Backwoods is an intensely brutal thrill ride that you should not miss and I really don't have much more to say about it then that. Give it a rent, you won't be dissapointed.
I also recommend :
Story Of Ricky
Three Extremes - Cut
Halloween 3 : Season Of The Witch
The Neighbor No. 13