(This review may contain spoilers).
I didn’t go into this movie with too many expectations. I’d say it was entertaining to watch, but not really anything special in the way of horror movies. I mean, it did firm in my mind that ‘spooky forest’ is high on my list of places to avoid, along with ‘unexplored caves’ and ‘dark basements’, but I’ve had that sense from other movies.
It was hard not to feel some empathy towards Luke. In the trailer, his actions in hiding while his friend was killed could be seen as cowardly. The truth is, it’s impossible for someone to predict how they will react until they are actually faced with a life or death situation.
One problem I felt with this movie was that, as soon as the four men entered the forest, it was like they’d never existed outside of it. At least two of them were married and one had children, but apart from a couple of throwaway lines – and one scene at the end – nothing really showed that part of them. No phone calls. No e-mails, even.
There was little I felt that was new and different about this movie. There were a few creepy moments, but that came from the unseen. As soon as I saw the reality, any fear was lost.
By the end of the movie, I was actually quite disappointed. While Luke did go down in my estimation, considering some of the actions he took, that was more of a personal taste thing and given that most of the movie revolved around four characters, I did think the actors did a good job of playing off each other. But a lot of the horror was long and drawn out. Quite predictable, really. But my disappointment came from hallucinations seen by one of the characters. Particularly in light of the revelations at the end, I was expecting the movie to take a more unexpected turn.
This movie did more or less follow the criteria of any slasher movie, but with characters who were well-developed and likable in their interactions with each other. I wouldn’t watch it again, as there’d be nothing to gain from that, but it was entertaining enough the first time.