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Girl in Woods

Score: 45%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Candy Factory Films
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 88 Mins.
Genre: Horror/Thriller/Independent
Audio: English 5.1 Surround Sound

Girl in Woods stars Juliet Reeves as Grace Walker, a young woman plagued by mental illness and nightmares that stem from traumatic events involving her parents' deaths as a child. She is in love with Jim (Jeremy London, Party of Five), who is very understanding of her issues, and the pair hope to make a life together. On an idyllic trip to the Smoky Mountains, Jim proposes, then plans a beautiful walk through the woods, but things go sideways pretty quickly and Grace is left to fend for herself, lost in the wilderness.

Naturally, she panics, running away from Jim and with no cell phone signal to be had, wanders in the woods for days, drinking water from the stream and eating whatever leaves she can scavenge. As she struggles to survive, she begins to hallucinate and sees Jim, her long-dead grandfather (John Still), other versions of herself, and she also has flashbacks of her loving father (Lee Perkins) and her doting but demanding mother (Charisma Carpenter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel). She eventually makes her way back to Jim's body, which she had earlier buried as best she could, but starvation forces her to act drastically. As the days turn into weeks and she spirals more into madness, without the help of her medication and with only her various selves (one helpful, the other wicked) to keep her company, she transforms into something other than the Grace that went into the woods some 30 days before. And when some help finally does appear, she doesn't even recognize it anymore.

Girl in Woods is just a really weird movie. Juliet Reeves' acting is so-so, but a bit overacted as she begins her descent into madness. Jeremy London, Lee Perkins, John Still and Charisma Carpenter all do well in their roles, with Carpenter being especially creepy. Truthfully, I just didn't buy into the overall concept of the film and that made it hard for me to enjoy. First off, no smart phone is going to have a charge after 11 days, even though you don't have a signal in the woods, especially if you are using it as a flashlight. Secondly, Grace often drinks from the mountain streams and she surely would have contracted giardia or some other illness from not boiling her drinking water. Also, eating random leaves is never good and we aren't led to believe that Grace has an understanding of the woods, so who knows what leaves she is eating. Eating flesh that has been decomposing for some 6 days would also lead to some nasty intestinal woes, I would imagine, and fortunately we aren't privy to seeing any of this happen to Grace, but I can't imagine her avoiding it with her wilderness diet. Lastly, her hair stays unimaginably clean, albeit messy, for some 30 days. Really? Try two days in the woods with decent hair, maybe. I know it sounds like I am picking the film to pieces, but the whole plot was a bit far-fetched for me and really didn't create a lot of tension. Grace and her various hallucinations, which have plagued her since childhood, were a bit creepy and the flashbacks of her parents were also disturbing, but it just didn't stand out as a good horror to me and it felt very indie. While the Gatlinburg, TN scenery and the surrounding woods were pretty to look at, Girl in Woods just didn't really do much for me.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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