The poster looks like a cross between Donnie Darko and The Knights of Ni from Monty Python, but this is a serious movie. It’s a character piece, dealing with the trials and tribulations of family and strain that the past can cause, that sees two brothers, reunited after 15 years, on a camping trip, that results in supernatural horror.
I like this trend that I seeing when picking movies for reviews. A lot of them are old school in storytelling, with putting suspense and storytelling at the top of the list. This movie really works to establish a bond between the two main characters and showcase a rift between brothers that could start to mend during a hunting trip.
From the first frame, we’re thrust into two brothers so fraught with tension, you could cut it like a knife before you’re even 15 minutes into the flick. One brother is more than hinted at as being a leftist, with his conspicuous Che Guevara shirt as he shoots pool with his friends at a bar, the flashback to childhood and his anti-hunting stance, his inability to let his childhood die and a line about his deceased father thinking he was a homosexual. The other brother is straight, family man, with hunting in his blood. They shy away from making him a full on conservative, though. The typical brotherly divide will make up a majority of the movie and it is believable that these two are brothers.
The acting is kind of weak in the beginning, with the flashbacks being the best, but by the time we get into the middle of the film, it seems as if both actors have found their bearing and are more than comfortable with their characters. The rest of the cast a decent in their roles with little to complain about, for the short amount of time they’re on screen.
There is only so much you can do with a story about two brothers going into the woods on a hunting trip, even with supernatural elements, but this did very, very well in regards to character building. Sadly, it kind of fails in the suspense category. While they built up characters well, they missed a lot of opportunity to really amp up the tension and give the characters a battle. It never seemed like their lives were in jeopardy for us to ultimately care about the climax. At one point, the younger brother falls and breaks his arm, but this would have serviced the movie better, earlier on. The older brother moves from barley skeptical, to scared with little to be scared off, minus a cave filled with deer antlers. The movie reminds me of a standalone X-Files episode, where the editor forgot to add in footage of Mulder and Scully to round it out. I’m not sure what the creature is, but clearly it is after the youngest one, for unknown reasons. Also, there is this weird false finish a few times, which seems more like no one was paying attention to continuity as opposed to a part of the story, especially with the younger brothers arm, now fine.
The climax was a cliché and a bit of a letdown, as they both get away too easy, but at the same time, it leads to a weird twist, that is just kind of there, before ending abruptly, leaving more questions than answers.
This movie looks great, it is lit well. This isn’t filled with anything fancy, short of a few crane shot, giving us a wide eye view of the beautiful, but eerie forest. Not too much to write about, it.
This movie despite its flaws, has charm and merit to the story. It could of use a bit more friction from the antagonist of demon, ghost, thing a bob, whatever the hell it was, to build up the suspense and give our desire to care about these characters getting to safety. Ultimately, this movie does the opposite of what most movies do and develops the characters too much and leaves the tension building on the cutting room floor. I think making this a horror movie was a mistake, as it might have worked as anything but. Overall though, another nice throwback to older films, when the audience who enjoyed them didn’t have ADHD and could pay attention to story.
This gets a 3 out of 5.