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directed by Richard Parry
UK 2011

 

Brody (Scoot McNairy, WRECKAGE) is less than pleased when his girlfriend Kerry (Anna Skellern, THE DESCENT: PART 2) invites her distant cousin Leo (Andrew Hawley, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN) - who she has never mentioned before - along on their camping trick in Dartmoor's Wistman's Wood and takes an instant disliking to him. While drinking at a pub, the locals tell the trio about the legend of a huntsman who hunts down sinners in the woods and hangs them. It turns out that Brody is already aware of this as he tells his two companions about a creepy encounter he had camping in the woods a few years ago. Brody's antisocial behavior and jealousy of Kerry's behavior with Leo ware on the group; however, just as it is obvious to us that Kerry and Leo are not (or are more than) cousins, Brody shows Leo video footage he shot of Leo sneaking into his house when he was supposed to be away from London). Leo, it turns out, also knows more about Brody than he discloses to Kerry (an incident involving an attack on a woman eight years ago that got him kicked out of UC Berkeley). Jealous Brody sets up a hidden camera in the tent and then disappears off into the night in anticipation of Kerry and Leo betraying him. The other two proceed to do so but manage to implode on their own (apparently Leo likes to bite), and Leo stalks off in search of Brody while Kerry stays behind. When neither man fail to return, Kerry goes in search of them (using the night vision function on Brody's camera) and sees nooses hanging from the trees. Has Brody snapped or is the huntsman prowling the woods?

Yet another found footage film where horribly unlikable people venture into the woods and never come back again; and we can be thankful in this case as these three deserve each other (they're not unbelievably stupid like deserving characters in other found footage movies set in the deep, dark woods, they're just awful people). The filmmakers try to innovate the formula by focusing more on the tension between the three characters, but none of them are remotely sympathetic and they pretty much all get what they deserve for attempting to manipulate each other. Despite a barrage of folksy music (on the car studio and performed in the pub), the Wistman's Wood legend of the huntsman is very thinly set up (and doesn't include mention of his accompanying hellhounds). None of the sudden shocks are scary, and the film gleans far more tension from the anticipation of seeing something as the cameras' strobes and night vision modes are used to prowl the woods in search of missing companions or to follow strange noises. McNairy had previously starred in MONSTERS (from the same producers of this film) while Skellern had already been caught between two possessive men in the horror film SIRENS (in addition to going through the stalk-and-kill paces in truly awful THE DESCENT: PART 2).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 7 September 2012 (UK)

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DVD Review: Vertigo Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Vertigo Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:18:54 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Vertigo Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Making-of (16:9; 17:09)
• Trailer (16:9; 2:19)
• 2 Start-up trailer for RED LIGHTS and PUSHER

DVD Release Date: September 10th, 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

The single-layer bitrate for the feature on Momentum's disc seems adequate for this DSLR-lensed "found footage" flick, which seems to embrace video noise, blown-out highlights, and noisy colors. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is very restrained apart from the shock effects. Optional English subtitles are included (although they are helpful, they do somewhat spoil the effect by identifying the speakers of distant, half-heard shouts). The making-of featurette expounds at length on the inspiration for the story (really no more than the film gives us), the challenge of composing the story on-set, the chemistry of the actors, and assembling the footage in post-production. Far more interesting is the coverage of the Steadicam-ready special camera rig designed by Simon Dennis (who apparently worked up some similar devices for his photography of the Nicolas Winding Refn-produced PUSHER, which is one of the start-up trailers). A trailer is also included.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Vertigo Films

Region 2 - PAL

 




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