Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NYCHFF- Program 3: Don't Go in the Woods

Friday Night - Program 3

This one started sometime around the 10:30 area, with a packed house of people in the lounge area. The guest of honor for the night being the great actor, Vincent D'Onofrio.

The Shorts:

The Hatter's Apprentice - An eager hat-maker's apprentice creates a hat before his training is complete and then must struggle to escape the grip of madness. A horror film? Hmm nope. This one is definitely more for the fantasy crowd. Aside from a few nice set pieces, I did not care for this short.

Red - A retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, executed in a film-noir style. When you come to the NYCHFF, chances are you're not going to enjoy every single film you see. Hell, you can make that case for any film festival you might go to. Unfortunately this program for me did not start out too hot. This 10 min. short from Canada really did nothing for me to keep me interested. It was an extremely artsy-piece, I'll give it that.

The Motel - Alone in a mysterious motel, a hungry traveler tries to make the best of it with dire results. This 9 minute short banks entirely on the very last minute or so of the film. Depending on what you think of the twist, I happened to find it funny, will determine your thoughts on it.

Der Antrag (The Proposal) - A young woman sitting in a cafe waiting for her lovely boyfriend gets an extraordinary wedding proposal later that day. Much like the previous short, this film also offers up a nice humorous twist. There is some good humor here and just enough blood to keep your appetite wet. My favorite of all the shorts, from this program.

The feature film:

Don't Go In the Woods - From director/actor Vincent D'Onofrio, comes a true original rock and roll musical-horror film. When an up-and-coming band goes into the woods to write songs for an album that could be their big break, their quiet weekend turns deadly as one by one they are attacked by an unseen murderer.

First thing is first, I am a big fan of Mr. D'Onofrio's work. Full Metal Jacket is one of my all time favorite films, so to be able to meet him was a true honor. Here's the deal with Don't Go in the Woods, it tries to be part-TV show, Glee (I've never seen it, just judging from the commercials) and part Friday the 13th. The problem being that for a movie that runs just over an 1hr and half, it's much more of a musical than anything. It's obvious from frame one that the actors in this are aware of the cheese factor going on. However this does not excuse the film from its poor singing & score. Characters are periodically killed off in typical slasher mode. Nothing new here people, move along. So if you are able to make it through the countless times where kids break out into song, the movie does have a bloody finish. For me, I had made up my mind on this film way before the half way point. If I may, in the words of Damon Wayans & David Alan Grier from In Living Color, Don't Go in the Woods...hated it!

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