College kids and secrets and the woods, OH MY!
A well-respected and enjoyable classic display and era of horror returns with Luis Iga Garza’s MURDER IN THE WOODS! It’s incredible how we always return to what we did and/or embraced before. Part of it is due to being familiar with it, and the other part is we can’t think of anything new. But who cares, right? If it’s done right (or decent, at the very least), bring it. Nostalgia feeds the beast, and that’s what MURDER does as it lays out its narrative mimicking fright flicks of yesteryears.
MURDER IN THE WOODS centers around a preplanned outing between a group of college friends. Once they arrive at an ominous-looking cabin in the middle of nowhere, hijinks ensues. As the night quickly reshapes itself into something a bit more sinister than expected, their focus now shifts towards darkened auras, leading to a wicked battle between good, evil, life, and death.
Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. It’s a predictable, color-by-number seesaw, but positives outweigh negatives. Off the bat, a standout for me is how much I appreciated watching a horror with a predominantly Latino cast. Front and center, the swag and spicy ‘tude smears the film from start to finish. From spooky cultural references, to witty dialog, and Danny Trejo (as a creepy sheriff)… this isn’t your ordinary horror. MURDER IN THE WOODS provides all the ingredients needed to cover a “who done it” noir-like angle till the twist—and that’s part of the fun.
As a horror enthusiast, I root for scares, gore, grunge, kills, and everything in between. Therefore, always try to find reasons to dislike characters (which I did) so I can enjoy and cheer inevitable snuffs. And when it comes to snuffs, MURDER doesn’t hold back. Glad it didn’t! You’ll cringe, laugh, frown, and “bust your brain” while wrapping your head around all that unfurls as the flick moves along. Therefore, allowing MURDER IN THE WOODS to firmly stand its ground. The overall execution pays homage to old-school, grimy, B-movie, slasher horror layout, with contemporary appeal, making it a trippy, entertaining experience. Totally recommend embarking on this creepy journey. But I warn ya… tread lightly!
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Run Time: 1:30
Starring: José Julián, Jeanette Samano, Chelsea Rendon, Catherine Toribio, Kade Wise, Jordan Diambrini, Kurt Caceres, Max Chavarria, Yelyna De León with Soledad St. Hilaire Rolando Molina, and Danny Trejo
Written by Yelyna de Leon
Director by Luis Iga Garza
IN DRIVE-INS AND THEATERS NATIONWIDE AUGUST 14
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL & VOD SEPTEMBER 18