SILVER WOODS ** USA 2017 Dir: Clay Moffatt. 68 mins
Five friends from high school decide to reconnect by renting a cabin in the woods, unaware that something evil has sought them out as prey. Despite the park ranger’s warnings not to venture into the woods, two of the friends decide to take a fateful hike anyway. There, they run into a local writer who shares the stories behind the woods’ reputation. Meanwhile, their friends back at the cabin are oblivious to the danger they are in. Soon, they meet their fate with the supernatural forces who are out to overtake them one by one.
Silver Woods has the look and feel of a student film. The dialogue, though realistic, was recorded on some poor-quality microphones and is sometimes hard to hear over the soundtrack. The performances are wooden, and the camera work is shaky without being stylistic.
Despite its short running time, the story drags with nearly half of the film devoted to making plans to go camping and getting settled in once they get there. It plays out like a drama, and not even the music hints at anything sinister until the final act. And the big, morbid twist is ultimately rushed and overdone.
Review by Laura Smith