"Backwoods" is a somewhat decent, if mostly lame rip-off.
Going on a company retreat, Lee, (Haylie Duff) Adam Benson, (Ryan Merriman) Peter, (Jonathan Chase) Maggie, (Mimi Michaels) John Dash, (Craig Zimmerman) Perry, (Danny Nucci) Chen, (Jamison Yang) and Chris Basso, (Troy Winbush) head out to a campground designed to strengthen their leadership skills. Arriving at the campsite, they quickly get a sense that someone is watching them, but they decide to get started anyway. When they begin the games, it soon dawns on them that there is someone after them, only to realize it's a family of inbred rednecks who capture intruders and force them to mate with each other to continue the family line, and try to use their skills to get out of the forest alive.
The Good News: When this one worked, it had some good stuff to it. The scenes of the games being played are incredibly enjoyable, as there's a lot to like about them. The traps that are laid out, from the poison ivy-inlaid net and the mutilated animal carcasses strung up provide plenty of eerie-feeling scenes as they're not supposed to be there to begin with, and with the action that occurs around it being really fast-paced, it leads to a great scene. The interaction is nicely held to a minimum and made all the better for it as well. There's also the fun and action-packed ending to this, which is a nice chase through the woods after several fun encounters within the compound which set it off on a nice note and are perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the film. The trail-off into the woods is really great and manages to score a lot for it, being almost non-stop with a ton of deaths strung along to make it exciting and fun, and along with those, are all pretty much all that's going for the film. The kills here do work nicely, as there's a nice arrow in the neck, a couple of gunshots, a great car crash that leaves one completely mangled and broken, being impaled in the back with spike-laced spring-loaded trap, a stabbing with a large butcher knife and a fantastic one where an explosion sends several on fire screaming down the hallway setting off more explosions along the way, all done in close-up to great effect. This ending goes a long way to salvage the film after it's pretty dismal opening, but the good thing is that all these do end up making the film watchable at worst.
The Bad News: There was a couple of flaws to this one that hold it down. One of the biggest, and most detrimental, is the fact that this one is completely loaded with either plot-points or scenes ripped right out of other, better movies that it feels completely clichéd at any point. The very beginning, where the two campers are attacked and dragged away, the two groups getting lost after getting directions from a bartender, the abandoned military bunker with a family living in it, and the use of captured women for breeding are just a couple of the many ideas this one had which was either a direct or indirect rip-off from something shown in another movie. These aren't that hard to spot either, as they're the points which are so often found in other, better movies and is not all that well hidden, making this one appear all the more clichéd by using these ideas and themes. Another really big one for this is the fact that there's the presence of the insane religious family. There's nothing new to be done with them as it's been done to death, it doesn't deliver anything more than laughs at them, and it's not anything worthwhile to have anymore. The mere inclusion of it is enough for some to be automatically at odds with it and this is a force that will knock it down for some. The last flaw is the fact that the film's inbred rednecks look absolutely atrocious, as there's no make-up applied to make them look that way. It's implied they've been living in underground and breeding with captives, but there's still the sense that something should've been done to make them appear more deformed and realistic. These here are the film's major flaws.
The Final Verdict: Though a lot of it is based on other movies, the good parts here are enough to make it watchable at times. If this sounds interesting, give it a shot, but those who know they're going to be turned off or even more from the flaws to this one should just skip it for something more worthwhile.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language
1 out of 1 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.