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The Woods (2006)

Cast: Agnes Bruckner, Agnes Bruckner, Patricia Clarkson, more...
Director: Lucky McKee, Lucky McKee
    see all cast/crew...
Rating:
Studio: Sony Pictures
Genre: Horror, Suspense/Thriller, Supernatural/Occult
Running Time: 91 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
    see additional details...

Synopsis
A teenage girl is drawn into the path of the unknown in this tale of terror. Heather (Agnes Bruckner) is a teenage girl whose father (Bruce Campbell) and mother take little interest in her. Heather's parents enroll her in a private boarding school for girls located deep in a remote forest; Heather isn't happy with this turn of events, and she doesn't get along well with her classmates or the head mistress, Ms. Traverse (Patricia Clarkson). As she struggles to make the best of her situation, Heather notices that slowly but surely the other students at the school have been vanishing, and there seems to be a mysterious force in the nearby woods which has been claiming the lives of the young women -- and will soon be coming after Heather. The Woods was the first major-studio feature from director Lucky McKee, who earned enthusiastic notices for his independent film May. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A weak supernatural thriller by carlykristen April 5, 2007 - 1:34 PM PDT
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1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
A troubled girl named Heather encounters strange happenings in the woods behind an all girls school she is forced to attend by her estranged parents. There she butts heads with the headmistress Ms. Traverse (Traverse: obstacle or opposition), makes friends with Marcy, and gets bullied by Samantha. There is also some witch mumbo jumbo thrown in, but you will hardly notice after being visually accosted by rampant lesbianism.

"You Don't Own Me" song sums this movie up pretty well. The girls are seen as truants because they put their hands near their nether regions, do not tuck in their shirts, and forget to pull up their socks like ladies should.

The film falters a bit with the acting, which I thought was weak. They fugged up Agnes Buckner's face to play Heather, but the other problem is that she has no personality or charisma. I didn't want to follow her character at all. Patricia Clarkson does a well enough job, but her character isn't given much to do. And while she is meant to be the bad guy, she comes off as a nurturing mother figure instead. But I did rather like the nutty teacher with the tick that caused her neck to snap uncontrollably.

And the script was clearly written by a man because the dialogue between the girls was awful and unrealistic. To be more accurate, it was written by a man named David Ross who is now making a movie about a call girl babysitter that sleeps with married men. Yeah, that is tasteful. If he wanted to know how real women interact, then he should check out THE DESCENT, which is a fine example of realistic dialogue. And you know how they got it right? The men behind the making of that film asked the actresses how they would talk. Mr. Ross knows nothing about women and doesn't know how to ask either. I bet if he wrote a sex scene it would involve a three ring circus because that is how confused he is about women.

I have never talked about a girl's "torpedos". Hell, I don't even call breasts torpedos. Tits and jugs, sure. But a torpedo is a phallic symbol and not even representative of a woman's round sexual features. Also, girls chanting Firecrotch is bizarre. I swear guys must think girls get together and touch each other's torpedos and firecrotches. Yeah, that's a fact boys. And we always tip the pizza boy with a blowjob too.

There is an insane amount of implied lesbianism. First, it is implied that Heather has lesbian feelings towards her girlfriend Marcy, whish is fair enough. Girls get lonely especially with no guys around. But it is also implied that the psycho blonde chick Samantha that maliciously attacks Heather, really just wants to viciously attack her Firecrotch. Whether she is touching her hair, talking about her pubes, or laying on top of her, it is clearly not a case of bullying, but sexual harassment.

Not convinced of the sexual innuendos yet? How 'bout the hospital scene where Heather's gown is lifted and her thighs exposed, then they cut abruptly to the Traverse "slit" in her hand with bile pouring out. Evil vagina periods anyone? How about the evil milk that brainwashes girls from a mother's teet? Are our women Naughty No No Bits naughty enough for you guys to say No yet? Then there are the evil branch tentacles chasing our heroine, which symbolize her fear of penises. Not convinced? I'll remind you of a certain tree rape scene in Evil Dead, which starred Bruce Campbell, who is coincidentally in this too. Huh.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this venture. Lackluster characters, uninspired SFX (until the ending that comes way too late in the game), and the inane dialogue hold this back. McKee should stick to directing his own scripts because he creates such memorable characters that share touching and awkward encounters with one another. I think this is the ultimate exploitation film featuring women in a prison, an evil warden, and lesbian fights, but missing nudity and sex. It was sleazy without the sleaze.

Yet another problem was the production management. I assumed this story took place in current times and was confused by Clarkson hairdo. Well, it turns out this was supposed to be 1965, yet the clothes, hairstyles, and language did not match that era. And wait, Didn't I see Marcy to listening to an iPod? Released in 2006 by United Artists, it clocks in at 91 minutes, but seems a bit longer. Presented in Wide & Full screen. There are no cuts to any of the DVD versions and no great extras to speak of. France & Australia provide different trailers though.

DVD Extras: English & French Audio/Subtitles and Trailers for I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, Population 436, and The Dark.

Bottom Line: A weak supernatural thriller that comes off more as a PG-13 Women in Prison exploitation flick.

Rating: 4/10




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