After a tragic accident Grace is lost and alone in the Smoky Mountains. Grace's struggle for survival is made more complicated by her troubled past. Battling the demons in her mind may be th... Read allAfter a tragic accident Grace is lost and alone in the Smoky Mountains. Grace's struggle for survival is made more complicated by her troubled past. Battling the demons in her mind may be the only way to come out alive.After a tragic accident Grace is lost and alone in the Smoky Mountains. Grace's struggle for survival is made more complicated by her troubled past. Battling the demons in her mind may be the only way to come out alive.
When Grace and Jim head into the Smoky Mountains for a hike to celebrate their new engagement, a tragic accident leaves Grace to fend for herself in the wilderness.
But Grace suffers from a mental illness for which she has left her medication back in the cabin.
So, for the rest of the movie, we watch Grace trying to survive being lost in the middle of a forest, while at the same time descending into a frightful psychosis.
Bit-part actress Juliet Reeves London gives a tour-de-force performance as troubled Grace, portraying multiple versions of the character as her various personalities interact with each other, in a conceit that works better than you'll expect.
Director Jeremy Benson vastly improves over his dreary 2008 effort "Live Animals." While there's little to distinguish this from other films in the "lost in the woods" genre, he successfully makes the viewer truly concerned about his main character, and forces us to experience her terror in a truly visceral way. I seriously cringed once or twice at what he put this poor girl through, and believe me, my threshold is pretty high regarding that.
That said, the lazily titled "Girl in Woods" does, however, stumble over pitfalls common to independent films such as it. Check it:
-- It's too long. Thrillers like this should be taut.
-- It's loaded with unnecessary flashbacks and dream sequences. I lost count of how many times the lead character awoke with a gasp from a troubling nightmare.
-- Some things don't make sense. She supposedly has no cell service in the woods, yet is able to use her phone to listen to music. Couldn't she have texted an SOS to somebody instead? And why did no one ping her device? Also, she never stopped looking pretty nicely groomed for a gal who spent upwards of a month eating leaves and drinking water with pollywogs in it.
-- Without the budget to afford a big name actress, it instead blows too much money on a B-level celebrity, when that money would have been better spent on a nobody who could act. So, it wastes and miscasts genre fave Charisma Carpenter as Grace's mother. Seen only in flashbacks and dreams, her clunky dialogue, stilted acting, and youthful look and demeanor come across more like an aging sorority girl than the woman in a troubled marriage she's supposed to portray.
But despite these shortcomings, I was nonetheless at the edge of my seat throughout "Girl in Woods," alternately aching for this girl's safety while rapt in witnessing how terribly far her psychosis progresses.
It's far. Terribly, terribly far.
- Oct 27, 2019