×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blackwoods

"Blackwoods" tries to salvage its dopey premise with frantic final-reel plot contortions, but in this thin thriller, depicting a very bad weekend for a guy who goes with his new g.f. to the woods to meet her reclusive family, the last-minute revelations amount merely to the piling of more nonsense on top of an already ridiculous surface.

With:
Matt - Patrick Muldoon Dawn - Keegan Connor Tracy Sheriff Harding - Michael Pare Greg - Clint Howard Johnny - Ben Derrick Jim - Will Sanderson Pa Franklin - Matthew Walker Ma Franklin - Janet Wright Jack - Sean Campbell Billy - Michael Eklund

“Blackwoods” tries to salvage its dopey premise with frantic final-reel plot contortions, but in this thin thriller, depicting a very bad weekend for a guy who goes with his new g.f. to the woods to meet her reclusive family, the last-minute revelations amount merely to the piling of more nonsense on top of an already ridiculous surface. This concoction from the writing-directing team of Robert Dean Klein and Uwe Boll is among several recent releases that are quintessentially straight-to-cable yet are being shoved into a teeming theatrical marketplace. Pic will even have a hard time finding ancillary comers.

That Matt (Patrick Muldoon) is about to step into a heap of trouble is made obvious from every corner, whether by way of the hilariously shoddy dialogue (lover Dawn informs him, “My family lives deep in the woods”), a repetitive series of interrupting shock-cuts of a car accident in which Matt is involved, or Reinhard Besser’s clunky score. To load foreshadowing on foreshadowing, Matt not only tells roommate Jim (Will Sanderson) that Dawn has had trouble with her ex-b.f. and that her family can be a handful, he also spots Dawn talking to a tall, suspicious stranger in a dark suit before they tool off to the woods. (Vancouver and the nearby B.C. mountains substitute, poorly, for Denver and the Rockies.)

Those constant shots of Matt in an accident finally lead to the revelation that he was in a car crash five years ago, and while there’s no doubt those events somehow will link up with the present, pic treats us to a distended suspense sequence at a motel where Matt and Dawn stop for some obligatory sex before seeing the folks. While fending off an intruder with an axe, Matt also must contend with Clint Howard, playing one of his patented greasy creeps as the motel manager, and Michael Pare’s nosy small-town sheriff.

Somehow, Dawn disappears, and Matt finds the route to her family’s home while sending an SOS to Jim. After sneaking up on the house, Matt is attacked by Dawn and, imprisoned in the basement, put on “trial” by her kin for killing the family’s youngest daughter in that car crash.

“Blackwoods’ ” biggest problem is that all this activity turns on a situation that, once revealed, almost — but doesn’t quite — clarify everything that’s happened. Neither Klein’s script nor Boll’s direction is crafty enough to sustain the conceit, which feels more like trickery than anything meaningful.

Thesping is sloppy, particularly that of Tracy and Howard, while Muldoon’s handling of Matt teeters into comedy. Pic goes for a kinetic rhythm and shadowy atmosphere, but it all fizzles from repetition, including an optical stop-motion “blur” effect that eventually ceases to dazzle.

Blackwoods

Popular on Variety

Blackwoods

Germany-Canada

Production: A Velocity Entertainment release of a Shavik Entertainment/Taurus Film presentation of a Boll Kino Star Beteiligungs production. Produced by Shawn Williamson. Executive producers, Philip Selkirk, Uwe Boll, James Shavick. Directed by Uwe Boll. Screenplay, Robert Dean Klein, Boll.

Crew: Camera (Alpha Cine color), Mathias Neumann; editor, David Richardson; music, Reinhard Besser; production designer, Jason Sutherland; art director, Murray Gilmor; set designer-set decorator, Joanne LeBlanc; costume designer, Maria Livingstone; sound (DTS), John Boyle; sound designers, Jorg Elsner, Trevor Hurst; supervising sound editor, Wolfgang Herold; special effects coordinator, Tony Lazarowich; assistant director, Bill Mizel; casting, Katy Wallin. Reviewed at Todd-AO West, Santa Monica, May 2, 2002. MPAA rating: R. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Matt - Patrick Muldoon Dawn - Keegan Connor Tracy Sheriff Harding - Michael Pare Greg - Clint Howard Johnny - Ben Derrick Jim - Will Sanderson Pa Franklin - Matthew Walker Ma Franklin - Janet Wright Jack - Sean Campbell Billy - Michael Eklund

More Film

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content