Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: The Backwoods (2006)

backwoods_243x347This week’s voyage into the realm of sketchiness takes us to an unknown, rural part of Spain, as we venture along with Gary Oldman into The Backwoods.

Koldo Serra’s 2006 thriller follows the story of  young English couple Norman and Lucy (Paddy Considin, Virginie Ledoyen) as they travel to the Spanish house of friend Paul (Oldman) and his wife Isabel (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón).

Norman and Paul stumble upon a deformed child, who has been locked away in a deserted house in the forest.  Naturally, they decide to remove the girl from the house and attempt to bring her to the local authorities.  That’s when the fun starts.

Raw, brutal and unsettling, The Backwoods seems to exist somewhere between Deliverance and Hostel.  As the group tries to hide the child, the townsfolk are none too happy to find her missing and begging searching for her.

While Gary Oldman kicks a considerable amount of ass in just about any movie he’s in, there seemed to be a lot of missed ass-kicking opportunities in this movie.  Promising scenes were rampant with Oldman’s trademark look, offering the false hope that at the end of the day, all would be saved by your hero and mine.

Instead, there were underdeveloped characters and a very weak storyline.  Not only do we not find out the cause of the child’s deformities, but we never even find out just why she was locked away to begin with.  It’s a shame, really, because the movie could’ve made something of itself.

the_backwoods_movie_image_gary_oldman__1_While I don’t want to give away the ‘surprise’ ending of the film, I must say that this ending made No Country For Old Men seem like a neat, tidy, happy-ending fairy tale.

But I love Gary, I do.  And just for him, I’m going to imagine the various ways in which this movie could have ended, in order to trick my mind into having a much higher opinion of it:

  • They discover that the child is essentially the devil himself, and end up returning spawn of Satan to her house of confinement.
  • Gary Oldman kills just about everyone, good guys and bad.
  • Norman decides to just shoot Lucy instead, considering she’s been such a degrading bitch during the whole trip.
  • Gary Oldman just stands there, being Gary Oldman.

And I leave you with this week’s Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

Paul: “There are hunters and prey, Norman. That’s the only fucking truth in this world.”

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January 26, 2009 - Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | ,

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