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The BackWoods(2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Koldo Serra

Gary Oldman/Paul
Paddy Considine/Norman
Virginie Ledoyen/Lucy
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón/Isabel
6 10
Two couples go up to one’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. He’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 “rite of passage” character journey kicking in and a gripping enough “love on the rocks” 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 one…great rack on that lamb) and of course Gary Oldman. A word on the latter if I may although even if I may not, I’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 couldn’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! Didn’t happen but it should’ve. Would’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 “why” 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 “that’s it!” This child was locked in there for that! The movie went down because of that! Pretty damn weak. I also wasn’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. I’d actually see it again and will own the DVD when it comes out. Too bad that it wasn’t all it could’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 could’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 Sánchez-Gijón’s (Isabel) Spanish accent played against her, made her sound less convincing. She was okay overall though.
T & A
We get Virginie Ledoyen’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 Oldman…what else can a lady want?
I was impressed by Koldo Serra’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 commended
We get an able and somber score that worked for the film.
The BackWoods could’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 don’t but he owns! Alas the screenplay couldn’t give a powerful enough reason as to the why behind the little girl’s plight, hence the why behind the slaughter. With that said, it was a good watch nonetheless. I was never bored that’s for sure! Rent it when it comes out, It’s worth a Sunday afternoon!
The film was shot in Spain and is also knows as Bosque de sombras.