THE DEVIL’S FOREST
- RELEASE DATE: Now Available on DVD (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
- WRITTEN BY: Caroline Riley, Mark Evans
- DIRECTED BY: Mark Evans
- STARRING: Maria Simona Arsu, Patrick Sebastian Negrean, Marius Dan Munteanu
-Reviewed by Daniel XIII
What’s this? A found footage flick with people running through a forest with a vague, undefined, supernatural menace afoot? Whhhyyyyyy???
THE DEVIL’S FOREST is, as you can tell, the latest BLAIR WITCH clone to come a-wingin’ across my doorstep. In 2012 a young woman and a film crew trek off to Transylvania to document the uber-haunted Baciu forest. They of course disappear, and their footage is of course found (by Rachel’s teacher who uploads the footage to the internet before killing himself). Anyway; Rachel und ze gang tromp off into the forest (among much “interview” footage), get lost because they don’t have a map (and apparently aren’t smart enough to follow their own footprints in the snow back out of the forest), and have around 15 minutes of spooky time fun.
Now, while I sound overly negative (mainly due to fatigue with flicks of this nature), THE DEVIL’S FOREST does have some rather good things going for it. For one thing; I really dug the wintery setting and exotic (for me anyway) locale. I also liked seeing a new legend introduced to the fright flick landscape (you can never have too many freaky folk tales in the horror biz), and the aforementioned interview footage really does provide a nice bit of world building, and I would have liked to have seen more of that than long sequences of our heroes tromping through the woods with not much else going on.
And that brings me to the main problem with this film; the pacing. I understand a picture of this nature isn’t going to be able to be a wall to wall effects showcase (and that they are going for atmosphere over full on horror), but please, please don’t be so precious with your footage that you can’t shave a few minutes here and there to shorten the gap between what amounts to ghost stories related by locals and the actual ghoulish goods. In other words, watching people walk around gets real old, real fast.
With all of that bitchin’ and moanin’ you’d think that I wouldn’t recommend this film, but I’m going to…but only to those that absolutely love the found footage genre. While THE DEVIL’S FOREST doesn’t exactly light up the sky with its radiant brilliance and originality; it does entertain mainly through its locations and legends.