A Night In The Woods
By-the-numbers supernatural horror from director Richard Parry
Richard Parry's Dartmoor-set A Night In The Woods was inspired by a real-life incident experienced by the director. While out camping alone in Wistman's Woods Parry awoke to feel someone's hands pressing upon his throat and a figure standing over him, an experience he later found to be a common story from anyone bold enough to camp there.
With this experience in mind Parry has written a story that follows three protagonists on an ill-advised camping trip. The trio in question are American camera fanatic Brody (Monsters' Scoot McNairy), his girlfriend Kerry (Anna Skellern) and her cousin Leo (Andrew Hawley). With sexual tensions already running high between the three of them it isn't long before paranoia sets in and they start to feel as though they may not be alone in the woods.
Early on Parry's film plays well on the edgy dynamic between the trio as well as a few tried and trusted horror conventions such as creepy warnings from locals. But the longer things last, the less interesting they become and an ambiguity sets in that's ultimately frustrating concerning what is real or imagined, or done by human or supernatural hand.
The found footage format doesn't help and neither does the growing sense that none of the characters are really that likeable. The inevitable ending offers nothing new on the Blair Witch template either which feels like scant reward for the effort required in reaching it.
Selected release from Fri 7 Sep.