Devil In The Woods is written and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, IV) and was originally released in the U.S. under the name “The Barrens“.
It tells the story of Richard Vineyard (Stephen Moyer – True Blood, Quills), a father wanting to bring his new family together and help his children, Sadie (Allie MacDonald -House At The End Of The Street, Stories We Tell) and Danny (Peter Dacunha – Mistletoe Over Manhattan) to bond with his new wife Cynthia (Mia Kirschner – The L Word, The Black Dahlia).
In true horror film tradition, he decides the best way to achieve this would be for them to go camping in the “Forest Of Death and Blood“, known in this case as the Pine Barrens.
Local legend has it, according to the tales told around the campfire, that the woods are stalked by a devil creature, wings, claws, teeth, etc. Armed with this information, Richard decides to take his family deeper into the woods where they happen upon a campsite featuring a dead dog tied to a tree and a shredded tent. This is, of course, the ideal place to set up camp. As Richard becomes sick, he and his family are forced into a desperate struggle for survival.
Devil In The Woods has a distinctly made for TV feel about it, the picture is not brilliant and the story isn’t really much to write home about. It was originally getting only 1 star, however mysteriously about half way through everyone suddenly developed the ability to act and the film gamely hauled itself up by its boot straps to a 2 star rating.
This is not a great example of it’s kind, it shows none of the ingenuity of the Saw franchise, but it is watchable and certainly picks up as you go through. It will never be a classic, but there are worse ways to spend a night in front of the TV.
Devil In The Woods is available to buy on DVD from 3rd March 2014