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Darren Lynn Bousman
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This movie is about the Vineyard family and their trip to the New Jersey Pine Barrens. There is a legend that the Jersey Devil lives in these woods. It came about after a woman known as Mother Leeds had 13 children, but she offered up the 13th child to the Devil so she and her other children didn't have to leave their house as they were going to be forced out by the town folk because she was having too many kids in the area back in the 1700s. So it's now the present, and the Vineyard family are going to camp there so the father (Stephen Moyer) can release his father's ashes. But while there they hear that someone has gone missing, and Richard (Moyer) thinks it's the work of the Jersey Devil. So they move their camp site to get away from the rest of the campers only to find that they're in more trouble than they were before. But is the legend of the Jersey Devil real, or is it just another story? Written by
Michael Hallows Eve
Darren Lynn Bousman's output gets worse and worse.
Darren Lynn Bousman directed some of the more watchable Saw sequels and the cult, horror sci-fi rock opera Repo! The Genetic Opera. Since then, his movies just get worse and worse. After his barely okay Mother's Day, I didn't have high hopes for this movie but it still managed to disappoint me.
True Blood actor Stephen Moyer stars as an upper middle class family man that drags his wife, teenage daughter, and pre-adolescent son out camping to the same place he used to go with his father. Once they arrive at a heavily populated camp site, he immediately begins acting crazier and crazier but this doesn't seem to concern his family, who agree to follow him even deeper into the woods. Along the way, he is haunted by visions of local legend the Jersey Devil, a man eating demon spawn that supposedly stalks the woods.
Not much of The Barrens makes sense and Stephen Moyer's performance is just terrible. He plays the whole film in the same note of crazed, squinting intensity. He rants, pops pills, shoves his kids, and throws jealous temper tantrums at his wife so frequently that he makes Jack Nicholson in The Shining seem balanced. It's completely unbelievable that his family wouldn't be more concerned by his insanity.
Mia Kirshner of The Black Dahlia and The L Word and the rest of his family are better, but they're not given enough personality to impress. Erik Knudson, of Scream 4, Saw 2, and Jericho is also great is a supporting role as a skate punk the daughter befriends and he steals every scene he's in but he doesn't have much screen time.
Aside from a cool looking creature, which may or may not only exist in the father's imagination, there's not much to The Barrens and it just limps along like a wounded hiker for the first hour. Things pick up in the last 30 minutes but it's too little too late and down ending seems forced and, like the rest of the movie, has some major logic issues. I just really can't recommend this movie to anyone.
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