BARE BONES: ROOTWOOD (2018)

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ROOTWOOD (2018)

Low budget horror has a film producer (Felissa Sleepaway Camp Rose) hiring a pair of paranormal podcasters, Jessica and Will (Elissa Dowling from Automation and Tyler Gallant) to film a documentary about a rural legend called The Wooden Devil. Apparently, a woodsman made a deal with the Devil to save the Rootwood Forest from harm and he was hung for his demonic consorting. All these years later, people still go missing in the area and the two, along with their photographer Erin (Sarah French, also from Automation), are sent there to investigate. Obviously, it does not go well.

Flick tries hard as directed by Marcel Walz from a script by Mario von Czapiewski. As you can tell from the plot description, there is a lot of Blair Witch Project envy here and even though the film is not found footage, it evokes that film constantly. It’s not scary and follows that template for most of the flick, with noises in the night and stick and stone sculptures appearing out of nowhere. Yes, it does go in a different direction in the last few scenes and does get credit for that, but where it goes is more silly than scary and sullied further by some horrible overacting by the character involved. There is some very questionable behavior along the way. One character is so terrified at one point, that she leaves camp to walk home from the middle of nowhere, alone and with only a flashlight…yea, right. At least in this flick we get to see our creature and it’s not bad. The performances, however, are not as convincing, though the three leads are likable enough. It’s great to see filmmakers getting their movies done and seen, but effort isn’t always enough to a good movie make. Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick should be flattered that 21 years later folks are still using their film as a blueprint…not always successfully, though.

-MonsterZero NJ

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