20 September 2002 | BillyBC
Why do I keep renting these kinds of movies???
(* out of *****) I should have learned by now that most straight-to-video horror movies are going to be pretty lousy. This pile of junk is no exception. I guess the director wanted it to be complex and ambiguous, but it doesn't work. He throws in a ton of flashbacks and flashforwards and unnecessary cuts and jerky edits that are supposed to juxtapose the main story (a buncha dumb high school kids and their science teacher go into the woods and get attacked by cannibalistic mountain men) with the framework story of a young girl undergoing psychiatric evaluation because of possible molestation by her father in the past. If this had been handled by a competent writer and director, it might have been passably entertaining, but, instead, it's a tedious and confusing mess. In spite of the supposedly complex plot, much of the movie is padded with MTV-style video scenes of snowball fights and people running back and forth to fill out its 90-minute length. If the makers had cut out all of the pretentious (and stupid) background psychological stuff and stuck with the short, simple story of kids getting attacked by mountain men, then this might have been something (still derivative and silly, yes, but at least something). Stacey Keach plays the teacher and Billy Dee Williams plays a sheriff. If they really needed the money, I'd have had more respect for them if they'd gotten a job at Burger King. Avoid this, kids. I'm thinking of suing the makers for stealing ninety minutes of my life.
Lowlight: Stranded on top of a sinking car (or rock or something -- I can't remember), heroine Kerry (Suzanne Davis) swings across the river to safety by taking off her pants and tying them to a tree branch hanging above her, a ridiculously contrived excuse to have her spend the rest of the movie in her underwear. Honestly, the bank was maybe five feet away, she could have gained more ground by simply jumping. Really dumb.