FOUND FOOTAGE SIGN!
I guess I never knew there were so many Manly Man Nature shows out there, which, if you trust found footage movies, they’re all over the place out there. Maybe they are, out there on YouTube and streaming platforms hoping to get picked up and big. Maybe. I dunno. There’s plenty of paranormal people roaming the ‘tubes trying to get big so who can say?
SHE WALKS THE WOODS follows several friends as they head into a remote part of the woods to film an episode of their survival show. These woods are near a cabin that one of the friends’ family owns, a spot that can serve as a base while they go out and explore the area and film segments for their show. During the night of their arrival the friends hear something in the woods, something they think may be a wild animal but which is something far more dangerous.
SHE WALKS THE WOODS is an obvious – and oddly late – child of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. This has those vibes throughout, which is not a bad thing at all. We are given friends with a lot of natural chemistry heading into the deep woods and filming ‘everything’ as they record things for the show they are making. The friends come upon something horrible and must try to survive. The bones for BWP are there, and it serves the film well. It knows what it wants to do and sets about doing it.
As I said, the chemistry is natural and the acting is really well done for a film of this size. They do very well to hide their ‘she’ for most of the film, relying on sound and build up until the climax. It’s all filmed well and is not hard to watch at all – as many older found footage can be, HOORAY FOR STABILIZATION! The problem here is that there’s not enough work done to make us know what ‘She’ is and why we should be afraid of it. We are shown some things, and yeah, anything that is hunting you is something to fear, but the horror isn’t earned. The filmmakers clearly have an idea as to what they set out there in the woods to hunt these people so…tell us. Something easily done if you hide it in a folk tale or legend or even more evidence of something happening out there. More work needed to be done to make us care.
The magic of BWP is in the small things they do.
The heavy lifting of the film is on the shoulders of the trio but the sound design and the unseen horrors of the night. When things build to a head the witch has been built up SO much, and we know SO much backstory that even though we see nothing, we KNOW what happens.
With this film we are shown everything but don’t know what it means or why it should mean anything at all.
This is a really well made, and really interesting film that just collapses under its own weight at the end. The logic of the friends falls apart – friends don’t just keep running from one another when something attacks and if they do, you have to show them as a coward and show them carrying that burden. There are some great moments that, had this film been filled out more with backstory, with more scares in the heart of it, and maybe a creepy stinger, this could have really been something special. As it is, it’s definitely worth a look for found footage fans and fans of BWP just to see what else is being done out there.
2 out of 5
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