Movie Reviews

In the Woods (1999) Movie Review

In the Woods (1999) DVD CoverIn The Woods is a low-budget American horror movie written and directed by Lynn Drzick. It’s a story about a firefighter who discovers something nasty in the woods and lives to regret it.

DJ Perry stars as the troubled fireman. His name is Alex Kerwood and the beginning of the movie finds him pulling a mother and baby from a burning building. You would think that a seasoned fireman would be used to all manner of tragedies, but when mother and child die Alex is so disturbed by their deaths he heads straight for the local watering hole to drown his sorrows in alcohol.

When Alex arrives home late, his wife Helen (Aimee Tenaglia) is surprisingly cool about it. At first anyway. When Alex tries to kiss her, she flies off the handle because she can smell the beer on his breath. It seems Alex has a drink problem and Helen does not want to hear any more excuses. “Is this the way it’s going to be? You limping off to the water hole simply because you had a bad day? If you’d rather kiss a Corona than me just go for it.”
This is a marriage in trouble and even though Alex promises to clean up his act he still has to spend the night on the couch.

With so much to worry about Alex decides to go on a hunting trip with his friend Wayne Higley (Jim Greulich). Guess where they go. You got it – the woods, and everything is fine until they reach a clearing and discover a makeshift grave.

A serial killer is active in the area. Wayne fears the grave may contain one of the killer’s victims, so he insists he and Alex dig it up. Alex is not happy about this, but he lends a helping hand anyway and in no time at all the two men have unearthed a skull. The good news is that it’s not a human skull. The bad news is that they have unearthed something evil. It has been buried there for a long time and should have been left alone. Now they have awakened it and are soon running from the woods while something the camera does not show gives chase.

Despite all his good intentions and his promise to his wife, Alex ends up kissing that cold Corona again. When Helen returns home and finds him drunk on the sofa she grabs her clothes and leaves but Alex soon has other things to worry about. The thing from the woods has found him. It’s killing people and keeps bringing him the body parts.

Scenes from In the Woods (1999 Horror Movie)
So, how good is In The Woods? I have to be honest and say it’s one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The acting is so wooden that, if the entire cast had suddenly shot branches out of their asses, I would not have been surprised.

Having said that, I must admit that it was almost worth suffering the movie just for the scene where Alex and Helen are arguing. All of the woodenness is still there, but Helen has some of the strongest lines in the movie. The one about kissing a Corona is a classic and she follows it up a little later with, “Don’t you understand that when you wash away the pain you’re also washing away me.”

But what about the special effects? Unfortunately, there aren’t any worth mentioning. There is a little bit of smoke coming out of a skull, but that’s about it and, ugly as they are, it’s all too obvious the monsters are just men wearing suits of rubber or hair.

If I was giving marks out of ten I could only give In the Woods a four or a very generous five, but I realize that some people love this kind of low-budget movie. If you are one of them, In The Woods could be right up your street. It’s still a gamble but, if you find the movie disappointing, you could always try watching it with a cold Corona in your hand, kiss the bottle, and kill the pain.