Dr. Michael Cayle thought leaving the chaotic life-style of New York City behind for the quiet, small town of Ashborough would bring his family closer together. Soon after arriving, however, he discovers the town's deepest secret: a terrifying and controlling race of creatures that live amongst the darkness in the forest behind his home.Written by
After moving to a small town, a doctor and his family learn the truth about the series of sacrifices the townspeople do to appease the mysterious race of savages living in the area and must keep them safe after accidentally angering the creatures.
This turned out to be quite the disappointing effort and really becomes a huge missed opportunity. The fact that there's just a huge and rather egregious amount of plot-holes in this is the biggest culprit really dooming this one, since that leaves so much about the film as a huge opportunity gone. Leaving the revelation about the move there of all places makes for a long period of time with no reason why the family has to stay there as the whole thing becomes quite frustrating as to why they're there to begin with, and the whole revelation seems forced once it's revealed. As well, there's next to nothing learned about the creatures, where they came from and why they hold this level of intimidation over the people there that allows them to both live in fear of them while never being able to do anything to stop the cycle of violence they leave, since it seems quite obvious that they're easily derailed and not that hard to stop, so his actions against them make the townspeople look all the weaker for being unable to do anything to them in all this time. Beyond the plot-holes, there's just a whole slew of messy filmmaking that really takes this one down a notch as the build-up with the concerned, secretive regulations and behavior of the townspeople toward the family doesn't provide any suspense but become rather infuriating with them due to how route and cliché they are towards them while not actually doing anything to levy the suspicions raised. It's a slew of different scenes that supposedly build to a creepy resolution by their desired-hidden motives but do nothing to deflect that once it's become obvious something is up, and the running around with the different townspeople trying to figure this out leaves so much wasted screen time that it really doesn't become creepy or suspenseful at all but rather annoyed. It does get some thing right, as the creatures themselves look amazingly creepy and quite chilling, perfectly appearing to be the kind of creatures that would instill that kind of fear in people. They're behavior and viciousness makes for a truly well-rounded villain and they're quite adept at being a horror-film creature. As well, once the whole thing's loose and the creatures are allowed to roam free, it's actually quite entertaining with a strong encounter at the house during an escape attempt and the finale in the caves is quite chilling, almost as much for the darkened location than the actions taking place within. It raises this up somewhat, but there's still a lot more wrong here that holds it back.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Language, Brief Nudity and children-in-jeopardy.
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