“DON’T F*** IN THE WOODS” (Film Review)Movies/TV,News,Reviews Kristen Adelwerth
For most horror fans, one of the biggest problems with contemporary horror is that it doesn’t quite capture the spirit of old-school fright films. Whether it’s CGI bloodshed and monsters, a lack of sexuality and violence, or the overly sleek and polished visuals, newer horror offerings just can’t emulate the gritty, D.I.Y., in-camera insanity of horror from yesteryear. However, if it’s bloodshed, nudity, and practical monsters that you’re missing, then there’s at least one horror film that you should seek out: Shawn Burkett’s aptly-titled DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS.
Although one may be able to piece together DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS from the title alone, the film follows a group of horror fanatics who plan a weekend camping getaway. However, a weekend of sex, drugs, and fun doesn’t quite go as planned once a deadly forest creature begins preying upon the friends and lovers alike. Soon, those who remain find themselves face to face with with the monster, fighting for their lives and to kill the abomination once and for all.
An indie shocker rife with sex scenes, jaw-dropping gore, and crude humor, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS feels like a mix between LAID TO REST, Troma films, and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, with an underdog attitude that really makes the film fun as hell. With a phenomenal man-in-suit monster to its credit, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS presents an old-fashioned flair to the proceedings, raising it above many of its low-budget horror contemporaries. And for those who prefer their horror films made with blood, sweat, and tears, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS is truly a passionate work, with the filmmakers and cast going full-force to craft a traditional creature feature with the nudity-laden antics and take-no-prisoners crassness of ’80s slasher fare.
A homegrown production courtesy of Concept Media Films and Chris Gierowski, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS also benefits from having solid, confident talent behind the camera. Of course, director Burkett proves himself to be somewhat of a D.I.Y. renaissance man in DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS, serving as both cinematographer, music supervisor and editor on the film which helps the mischievous tone of the film to remain consistent throughout. Furthermore, Deryk Wehrley’s special make-up FX, complemented by Joe Kidd’s digital VFX and Harry McCane’s creature consulting, is absolutely fantastic, with a practically-achieved creature whose design really feels like an old-school movie monster.
Additionally, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS has a solid cast of independently-sourced actors who go all-in on the macabre material. Alyse Howard and Brittany Blanot bring a real sense of empathy to the lesbian lover leads, with their agency in the story evolving in an interesting fashion once the monster joins the party. Meanwhile, Roman Jossart and Hannah Herdt get their own moments to shine as the comic relief of the film, with the former even taking on a bit of an unwitting hero role as well. And Brian Cornell, Nadia White, Brandy Mason, and Scott Gillespie deserve praise for taking on these risque roles with gusto, especially considering the duality of nudity and gore that the film presents.
Overall, if you’re looking for the kind of sleazy, splattery horror film that’d feel right at home with other old-school video store discoveries, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS definitely has you covered. With fun frights, exceptional direction and a real-deal monster on display, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS comes recommended for those who don’t offend easy and want more out of their modern horror offering than psychological terror.