I admit that I am a little surprised that the Lost In The Woods sub-sub-genre is still on fire but I do understand it. There’s something primal about it, about the idea of being in the middle of nowhere and being lost without any idea how to find your way back to safety. There’s a creeping dread when you are lost, that you might just disappear and not be found, and it’s chilling in a way other fear isn’t.
I ALSO admit that there have been SO many of these sorts of found footage films that it takes a lot to make much of an impact on me.
Lucky me that OUR TRIP came loaded for bear…or rather ‘beast’.
OUR TRIP TO BERRIBROOK finds three Americans tramping through the wilds of Australia on the search for for a mysterious cryptid that some believe may have been the reason there have been so many mysterious disappearances around Berribrook. The friends are naturally filming their exploits, conceivably to post it online, I guess? The trio head into the forest very loud and very cocky hoping to find their mystery monster. Their cockiness draws them deeper and deeper into the woods until they realize they are lost and that what they had started to believe was simply a phantom boogeyman may actually be out there with them…hunting them too.
Credit to the filmmakers for keeping to the rules they set into place – they don’t insert music, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious editing – and the filming feels as naturalistic as it was going to feel.
It seems silly to applaud but the fact is that a lot of filmmakers screw the basics up and start their movie out in a bad spot outright.
The chemistry between the friends is good. They laugh, they bicker, they fight, and it feels natural. The acting is well done and since the film hinges on their acting, they do a good job. It’s crazy to imagine that we’re in a time when everyone films everything always but, here we are.
The plot plays out as you’d imagine it would with their being lost and walking in circles but the actors keep you from getting too restless. The movie starts to get a little wobbly as things play out EXACTLY as you think they will – panic, running in circles, getting separated – but it works. The filming isn’t the sort that will make you queasy to watch, and they do a lot with very little. While I don’t know if I love the sound effect they use for…something…it works in its way. It’s just confusing a little, as we start to figure things out. While we sort of know how it will come together, and the film doesn’t have a lot of interest in deviating from what it is they do throw in a zinger at the end that is pretty surprising and, dare I say it, fun?
Sure, this isn’t top shelf found footage but this is solid, it’s fun, and it’s worth a watch. It doesn’t break any new ground but it gives you what it promises and that’s both rare, and refreshing.
One thing though…this isn’t a ‘comedy’ as the Tubi listing has it. It’s got some moments of laughs but it’s not a comedy.
Horror can be funny to, yo.
Worth a look.
3 out of 5