Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 28th, 2015
BluRay released: September 22nd, 2015
Approximate running times: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
BluRay Release: Olive Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A young woman with a troubled past is sent to a girls school that is isolated from the rest of the world. And shortly after her arrival bizarre things start to occur and signs point towards the woods as the origins of these most unusual occurrences. Will she uncover the truth of what lurks in the woods or has her fate already been sealed?
The Woods was directed by Lucky McKee whose other notable films include, May, The Woman and All Cheerleaders Must Die. Key collaborators on The Woods include cinematographer John R. Leonetti (Insidious, The Conjuring) and composer John Frizzell (Alien: Resurrection, Ghost Ship).
Far too many modern horror films are more concerned about pushing the boundaries when it comes to depiction of violence. With the majority of the truly classic Horror films rely more on what your imagination conjures up in your mind, instead of the force feeding you blood drenched murder set pieces that are usually devoid of any real tension.
Fortunately all is not lost as every now and then comes along a film that is not content following whatever the latest trend may be. This brings us to The Woods a film that puts a far distances between itself and the majority of other modern Horror films as it puts the power back into the viewers hands by allowing their imagination to engage in the story at hand. Another way in which this film is also retro is that the film is set in the past, the year is 1965 and the place is New England.
The film features a strong premise about witches who took over the girls’ boarding school one hundred years before the events which unfold in this film. And through the help of a few special students these witches hope to be resurrected and pickup right where they left off. Also when it comes to character development this film does a good job laying out who everyone is and what their motivations are?
The thing that immediately grabs you is this film’s atmospheric visuals which does a superb job setting the tone of the film and maintaining it throughout. And when it comes to the pacing there is a deliberateness to it that some might find off putting. Needless to say these early lulls which take place during the opening and middle acts are necessary evil’s and actually serve a purpose, most notably in regards to character development through their back-stories. With that being said things do pick up rather quickly for the film’s finale which moves along at a frantic pace.
From a performance stand point the entire cast are all great in their respective roles. With this film’s most memorable performance coming from Patricia Clarkson (The Pledge, Dogville) in the role of Ms. Traverse, the headmistress at the boarding school. Another performance of note includes Agnes Bruckner (Blood and Chocolate) in the role of this film’s protagonist Heather Fasulo, she is the troubled young woman whose estranged family sends her to boarding school. Other recognizable faces in the cast include Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) and Rachel Nichols (Continuum).
The Woods comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels and shadow detail look consistently strong and details look sharp. Also there are no issues with compression or DNR.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English. The audio is in great shape as dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also range wise this audio mix does not disappoint and when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack every last sound is well represented.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film.
Overall The Woods gets a solid audio / video presention from Olive Films.
Note: Olive Films are also releasing this film on DVD.