Lucky McKee is a director who understands horror.
The Woods tells what could have been a typical tale of strange events at a girls boarding school, but in the hands of director Lucky McKee it really seems to flourish. Heather (Agnes Bruckner) is sent to a boarding school by her parents who don't seem to care about her. While there she has trouble making friends, most importantly not getting along with the woman in charge, Ms. Traverse (Patricia Clarkson). Then, to make matters worse, Heather realizes that kids are vanishing from the campus, and the answer to these strange disappearances might reside in the woods around the school. Having nowhere to turn, what is Heather to do when The Woods start coming after her?
At first I was nervous that this going to be a boring, gothically told tale, but I was quite surprised with how much I was engaged by The Woods.
No extras came this release.
Enhanced Wide Screen Letterbox for 16x9 TV. As I have mentioned, I expected this movie to be a slow paced, moody thriller where the action and everything else happened in quick spurts. It wasn't like this. McKee directed with a measured tone, there were a lot of camera moves, but he really said a lot when he didn't move the camera. On DVD this film seemed to be adequately compressed considering how much darkness there was in the film.
Dolby Digital. The audio on this film seemed solid, I just didn't notice it as much as I thought I would. I was actually surprised by this because I thought McKee might utilize the sound more, but that doesn't seem like it was the case here. I also have a pretty crummy system with which to watch this stuff on, so maybe my one speaker setup isn't giving me the best possible chance to maximize the experience?
This front cover cover is really eery in that is showcases Bruckner, Clarkson and some of the other cast members, and then it envelopes the boarding school in both black and blood red. The back cover has some pictures from the movie, a description, and system specs. They have kept things pretty simplistic for a genre release that seems like it could warrant more bells and whistles.
Having first come across Lucky McKee when I reviewed his Masters of Horror: Sick Girl installment, I was dubious toward the idea that McKee was somehow a "Master of Horror." I am not saying that I have totally changed my mind on this issue, I just feel that getting to see more of his work, I am very hopeful that he can live up to that moniker. He certainly seems to understand the genre, and,Enhanced Wide Screen Letterbox for 16x9 TV like Rob Zombie or Eli Roth, seems to be coming at it from a different angle. His movies don't feel like other horror movies, and that is certainly helping him stand out in the marketplace.
The Woods was released September 25, 2006.