Camp-fire tales are a reliable rights of passage experience for many; movies regularly pick up on that uneasy feeling as a narrative is told by primordial flame. ‘This isn’t The Burning’ one of the characters in She Came From The Woods says, demonstrating a knowledge of previous cinematic horror. And Erik Bloomquist’s film isn’t like The Burning, one of the video nasties I saw as a kid back in 1981. While Cropsy, the killer in the Burning is just a nasty old man chasing George Costanza with his rusty garden shears, She Came From The Woods is a full-blown supernatural thriller with bells on in the form of copious amounts of what we used to call Kensington Gore.
So we kick off with William Sadler (Die Hard 2, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) as Gilbert McAllister, whose daughter Heather (Stranger Things’ Cara Buono) works with him at the Camp Briarbrook summer camp circa 1987. A bus load of kids go missing, and rumours abound that the sinister Nurse Agatha has returned after previously being killed off circa 1945. And these rumours prove to be true, with possessions, demonic attacks, and all kinds of nasty-ass action on the way to a very bloody denouement…
She Came From The Woods is a slick horror movie that melds slasher clichés with a more full-blooded brand of horror; by making the antagonist female, it manages to avoid some of the worst excesses of the 80’s horror genre. But it is a little disappointing that the witchcraft theme is developed here, and in many other recent releases, in such a retro style; this is the gnarly old woman = ultimate evil trope that we’ve seen many times before, even if Bloomquist does a good job racheting the retro-horror comedy up to Evil Dead levels. This is very much the Bloomquist of Night at the Eagle Lodge rather than Christmas at the Carousel.
Expanded from a short, She Came From the Woods should satisfy die hard horror fans who are happy to see their favourite clichés stood up on their feet again; there’s little we haven’t seen before, but as a make-over of 80’s horror clichés, this is a proficient enough rehash, with better performances than are required. Sadler’s exit in particular deserves some applause; Bloomquist embraces the tropes he clearly loves, and makes sure all the characters go out with a bang. And if nothing else, it’s a great excuse to exhume Kim Wilde’s seminal hit single, Kids in America, as featured in the trailer below…
She Came From The Woods opens on 800+ US screens from Feb 10th 2023.
See link below for details.
I’m usually up for a horror film. No tarantulas in this, I guess.
Nope. Still too many.
No way. I won’t knock horror but it’s not for me.
I have been getting the hard sell from friends to watch Stranger Things though. Really wish it was a movie instead of a TV show. Finding myself unwilling to commit to any show with more than a season right now.
Stranger things is very good. Last of us good too. Both end up as something much better than just horror; 3D characters and plotting. I guess everyone draws a line, and some horror is beyond me, but certainly would add my positive recommendation about Stranger Things.
I would like to second the positive recommendation for Stranger Things. If you do decide to take on a show with more than one season, to me this would be one that would be well worth the time invested.
Stranger Things is fab, but I left it after season 3. That was enough.
Gets even better, but never bad to quit while ahead…
Glad it does but I couldn’t cope with Finn Wolfguy, most annoying.
Oh, I liked him in The Goldfinch. And he was ok in Ghostbusters.
Will take your word as I haven’t seen either.
I’m calling shenanigans. That kid is holding a wooden bat. Every teenage hooligan knows that an aluminum bat is the only way to go.
Man, kids these days can’t even be hooligans properly. Do we have to teach them EVERYTHING? Back in my day kids knew how to be proper hooligans without having to have their hand held every step of the way…
Then I”ve got some bad news for you Eddie.
It’s actually 2023. I can only assume you’ve been in a coma for the last 36 years. Welcome to the new world.
let’s see, important changes you should know about:
the mullet is gone but don’t worry, there are signs it is making a comeback
Women no longer wear shoulder padded suits so there is 50% more room in elevators now.
Music is still 99% crap.
“They” have bottled energy and sell it now in cans. It is called Rockstar and is pretty much the most important thing humanity has done to date.
And I think that covers it. You should be good to go now.
Sigh. My review mentions that the film is set in 1987. FacT!
Ah, another thing. Reading comprehension is at an all time low. Kids now do everything through 2 second videos.
Well your reading comprehension levels seem to have collapsed. Maybe move you down a reading group or two; it clearly says 1987.
Ohhh, that took me 10seconds to read. Sorry, message doesn’t compute…
Sigh. Moving you down to Alex’s group then…
When is nap time?
After your binkie and juice, so settle down.
I won’t! You’re not the boss of me.
And besides, whose blog do you think this is anyway?
Yours and Alex’s? I just set a theme and let you guys entertain the hordes…
Is the correct answer.
Plus, I’m buying your hoster out in 15min. You will be the newest acquisition in the Bookstooge Empire…
What are titles have you acquired?
Going to need to see some official ID, Mister ‘Eddie Harris’. Skynet is making big inroads so you can’t be too careful.
My credentials are impeccable.
Keen to find out what else is in your portfolio?
Which is exactly what Skynet would say.
But I’ve acquired a certain Industrial Military Complex n we have a promising new line of titanium melters.
Oh, I thought you meant you had other blogs, like an ironing blog or something…
Well, I didn’t want to brag, but I am co-owner of the world’s premiere ironing blog. But that would just be gloating
I could only dream of such publishing power. Guess I’m happy to be part of your portfolio of blogs….
Feel free to bask in my reflected glory. We’ll get you to that 7/10 of a million views in no time…
My writing only plays a very small part in that process…
Just watched the trailer. Initial thoughts…
Kim Wilde? Really?
Oh Kim is fine. I was referring to the trailer.
I like her gardening ads.
She is the Alan Titchmarsh of her day.
Not sure what she is advertising, but she’s putting plants and seems happy. You Came is another banger…
Trailer seems like a bit of fun. The thing about this style of horror comedy though is that the horror has to actually be a bit scary for the movie to really work. This looks more like straight slapstick.
This does get quite nasty, but works as a vigorous pastiche.
You can almost see all the tropes just by the poster alone. Great review.
It’s tropetastic !