A slasher horror set mostly within an isolated and ominous forest…it’s hardly the most original of ideas. Thankfully, what it lacks in synopsis it makes up for in effective horror.
An indie horror from writer/director Roger Boyer, it sees a group of women head off into the woods for a weekend of drinking and relaxing. One particular woman, Emily (Laurel McArthur) is desperate for the getaway, seeing it as a chance to escape from her abusive and manipulative boyfriend, Peter (Dennis Scullard).
Peter insists that Emily isn’t going on any trip delivering a stark warning to her and her friends. However, having had enough Emily musters up the courage to join her friends in the woods.
When Peter finds out he enlists his friends and heads off after the women planning to deliver some punishment. His pals, thinking they’re just going to be scaring the women are shocked to find that Peter has much more murderous intentions.
Anyone that stands in his way is a victim. Characters are brought in for Peter to kill and kill he does. These minor people don’t serve any purpose other then to die and while there are attempts to add some meat to the bones of their characters it’s pretty pointless as they’re just fodder.
No complaints about the acting though. Dennis Scullard is really good. His early intensity threatens to boil over in early scenes before erupting in bloody and violent ways later in the film. He is a scary man, one that can’t be reasoned with and one who thinks he knows what’s best for Emily.
His evil intensity is what makes some of the later moments particularly chilling. The movie has some nicely done horror moments heightened by the very impressive old-school synth.
The synopsis isn’t going to draw many horror movie fans in but Dark Forest is well worth a watch. It’s far more interesting, far more savage and far more effective than you might initially think.
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The Final Score - 6.5/10