The BackWoods (2006)
Director: Koldo Serra
Two couples go up to oneâ€™s (Gary Oldman that is) house in the woods in Spain for some RnR. On a hunting trek, the two men find a deformed little girl trapped in an abandoned house. They take her with them to help her out, which brings the wrath of the backwards townsfolk who want her back. Time for Gary Oldman to whoop that ass!
I was really looking forward to The Back Woods for two reasons: Gary and
Oldman. Heâ€™s one of my favorite actors and he's not in enough films now
of late that I like to see (Screw Harry Potter!)! After hearing mucho bad word of mouth on
this film... I did go in with reservations. So was it as bad as the naysayers said?
Not to me!
The Back Woods (from our Spanish friends at Filmax) had a lot going for it. A clip pace, taunt suspense, ballsy scenes (the rape
bit hit home) and lots of brutality. The same went on a human level with an
engaging â€śrite of passageâ€ť character journey kicking in and a gripping enough â€ślove on the rocksâ€ť
subplot adding to the stakes. And it was all dipped in a thick coating of striking
visuals (great cinematography here) and dread inclined atmosphere (love the
rainy bits). The cast at hand also made it all happen with the incredibly sexy Virginie Ledoyen
standing out (for more reasons than oneâ€¦great rack on that lamb) and of course
Gary Oldman. A word on the latter if I may although even if I may not, Iâ€™ll yap it anyways. Gary Oldman f*cking rocks. Only an actor of his caliber could take a so-so written role such as this one and elevate it to a higher plane via talent, magnetism and intensity. I couldnâ€™t take my eyes off Oldman throughout the film and I hung on his every word. That is why my friends that he is Gary Oldman.
Where the film failed me miserably was in not having a satisfying backbone to support the launch of the
conflict (which was triggered by them finding the child). I was actually sure that the film was on its way to becoming a werewolf film at the halfway
mark! Didnâ€™t happen but it shouldâ€™ve. Wouldâ€™ve given it the sturdy spine it
needed to leap into its ugliness. To be honest, as the end credits rolled, I was
still semi baffled as to â€śwhyâ€ť the story REALLY happened. It took a friend of mine to
clearly tell me the reason behind the little girl being mis-treated and why they
wanted her back. My answer to his explanation was â€śthatâ€™s it!â€ť This child
was locked in there for that! The movie went down because of that! Pretty damn weak. I also wasnâ€™t too fond of the female characters in the film
as they were too naggie or/and negative all the time and got on my nerves. But then the tops came off
and that helped wash down their constant ball-breaking.
All in all, The BackWoods gave me enough thrills, spills, Ledoyen loving and Oldman rocking to make for
a pleasurable quick fix. Iâ€™d actually see it again and will own the DVD when it comes out. Too bad that it wasnâ€™t all it couldâ€™ve been at the script stage. With some minor tune-ups in terms of raising the stakes of the nature of the little girl and the
motive behind her mis-treatment this couldâ€™ve easily been a very good movie as opposed to a passable one. Now bring me
everyone. Who boss? EVERYONE! Which Oldman movie?
We get bloody gun shot wounds and a shot rabbit (looked real to me!)
Gary Oldman (Paul) took a meh written role and turned it into a captivating one via presence and focus. What an actor! Paddy Considine (Norman) was efficient as the boy to man dude. French actress Virginie Ledoyen (Lucy) is one sexy lady and nailed her frigid role (wish I could nail her in the nailer.) Aitana SĂˇnchez-GijĂłnâ€™s (Isabel) Spanish accent played against her, made her sound less convincing. She was okay overall though.
T & A
We get Virginie Ledoyenâ€™s breathtaking breasts and dazzling derriere. Aitana Sanchez-Gijons also shows all! Can you spell bush? SHE CAN! The dames get Gary Oldman, being Gary motherf*cking Oldmanâ€¦what else can a lady want?
I was impressed by Koldo Serraâ€™s firm hand behind the camera. Slow, steady, mature yet polished, he totally immersed me into the film via his visuals and his grasp on suspense. The slick cinematography should also be
We get an able and somber score that worked for the film.
The BackWoods couldâ€™ve been something great, Deliverance style! The primo directing, acting, cinematography, tension and violence came through! They freaking had Gary Oldman in the lead for shite! And he owns the person who owns you, hence you too! Get it? I donâ€™t but he owns! Alas the screenplay couldnâ€™t give a powerful enough reason as to the why behind the little girlâ€™s plight, hence the why behind the slaughter. With that said, it was a good watch nonetheless. I was never bored thatâ€™s for sure! Rent it when it comes out, Itâ€™s worth a Sunday afternoon!
The film was shot in Spain and is also knows as Bosque de sombras.
THE OFFICIAL BACKWOODS SITE HERE