The Woods

Director: Lucky McKee (2006)
Starring: Agnes Bruckner, Emma Campbell, Bruce Campbell
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

In 1965 New England (really? I actually had no idea until the movie finished) a troubled youth (Bruckner) is shipped out to an isolated girls' boarding school. She soon encounters bullying, gingerism and odd goings' on in the surrounding woodlands. But it's okay - after all, she's Bruce Campbell's (onscreen) daughter. How could one be better equipped to deal with malevolent twigs and snobby schoolgirls?

I enjoyed The Woods. It has an intriguing central mystery, a chilly setting, some fun scares and a host of good performances. Agnes Bruckner does well as lead girl Heather. I have a thing for redheads anyway, so I'd probably have enjoyed her in anything (and it's okay, she was 21 when this movie was filmed. Totally legal, guys!) Bruce Campbell isn't in it for long, but it's always fun seeing The Chin doing his thing. There's a nice parallel with his Evil Dead too, in the later scenes, which has him battling evil trees and invasive twigs. But this isn't really his movie, The Campbell is just gravy on the meat and potatoes of an old-school mystery chiller that takes in disappearing students, creepy teachers and Mean Girl rejects.

Some might find it a tad predictable and slow, but I didn't really notice. Could've used a chainsaw or two. And the overuse of the word "firecrotch" kinda got on my nerves, as did that blonde girl. It's a fairly minor work, to be sure, but an enjoyable one all the same.

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