In the Woods (1999) starring DJ Perry, Aimee Tenaglia, Tim Jeffrey, Jim Greulich, Stuart MacDonald, Buck Schirner, Renee Pulse, Rachel Walker directed by Lynn Drzick Movie Review

In the Woods (1999)   1/51/51/51/51/5

DJ Perry as Alex in

Don't Go Down to the Woods Today

"In the Woods" cost me the grand sum of £1.00 and for a movie which cost me so little I didn't expect much but I expected more than I got. As you may expect from the low price "In the Woods" is a low budget movie, a DVD from the bargain bucket one which is first and foremost a horror with a side ordering of thriller thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately it's not frightening; in fact it's quite laughable with dodgy special effects and poor post production dubbing. And as for the thriller side, well I have watched more thrilling storylines in cartoons than I watched in "In the Woods". As such I have to say that "In the Woods" is a poor movie, probably made with good intentions of being scary, but ending up more funny that scary.

Alex (DJ Perry) is a fire-fighter who finds it a battle to deal with seeing death and so copes by getting drunk which leads to marital problems as his wife Helen (Aimee Tenaglia) despairs every time he stumbles home drunk. To try and get some clarity Alex and fire Chief Wayne (Jim Greulich) go shooting in the woods but in doing so accidentally awaken a beast from its grave which starts mutilating people in the town of Portage. At the same time people have started going missing from the town and whilst Alex tries to kill this beast finds himself becoming the prime suspect in the missing peoples case especially when body parts start showing up on his lawn.

DJ Perry and Aimee Tenaglia in

For a movie which runs for just 80 minutes "In the Woods" spends just under a third of that time trying to set up the characters and the supposedly thriller element of the storyline. So what we get is an introduction to fireman Alex who has a drinking problem and the relationship issues with his wife Helen who has had enough of his drinking, although to be honest Alex seems quite a nice drunk rather than a nasty one. At the same time we learn that people in the town of Portage are going missing and their fingers are being chopped off. Not a terrible start despite not being that riveting.

But things go from bad to worse as the horror side of the storyline kicks in with a hunting trip to the woods awakening some mythical beast which ventures in to the town mutilating those who get in its way except for some strange reason Alex. What follows is basically Alex doing what he can to stop this beast which ends up leading him to being a suspect in the missing person case and causing him to become a fugitive with only one friend to help him not only stop the beast but clear his name and win his wife back.

The thing is that "In the Woods" is clearly a low budget movie, one which appears to have been rushed out and as such there is a whole catalogue of issues. Probably the most notable is that the post production dubbing of voices has left it all feeling very false and almost laughable. And causing more laughter are the dodgy special effects especially those of the beast which is unintentionally comical. All of which causes problems before I even mention the daftness of the storyline and the equally daft dialogue. But to crown it all off is the thriller side of the storyline with the missing people ends up being unimportant and mostly padding.

Because of the poor dubbing it has to be said that the acting comes across as weak and whilst DJ Perry as Alex does his best to lead the movie ends up coming across as seriously cheesy. In fact various scenes which lead him to lose his shirt are just laughable as is the scene where he discovers the mythology behind this beast which is plaguing him and the town. And to be honest DJ Perry is probably the best thing about "In the Woods" as the rest of the cast are basically background noise as they deliver 2 dimensional characters.

Now all of which makes "In the Woods" sound bad and to be honest it is but credit where it is due there are a couple of really nice moments in the movie. When Alex discovers that body parts are being left around his home there is an element of suspense and shock which is so sadly lacking in the rest of the movie. And whilst obviously shot on a small budget the chase scene through the woods is quite good.

What this all boils down to is that despite a couple of good moments "In the Woods" is most definitely a poor movie and one which whilst trying to be a horror cum thriller never achieves either. It ends up being laughable rather than exciting and scary with the post production dubbing being one of the biggest issues to stop it from being any good.