Horror Movie Review: Im Wald (2022)

Im Wald is a German-language horror/thriller film written and directed by Manuel Weiss. Telling a subtle and slow story that combines supernatural-inspired elements, folklore horror, and slasher touches.

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Mats (Tobias Kay) and his teenage daughter, Mia (Jolie Joan) are on the road late at night, travelling to visit his new girlfriend, Carla. It is the first time Mia will meet Carla, and while he is very enthusiastic about it, she is less interested. Not just because she is a teenager. But because she still hasn’t quite come to terms with her parents split. Especially as it seems to have been instigated by Mats.

It’s a dark night, and they are forced to take a detour down a road that leads through a thick forest, where, Mats regals Mia with a story from his childhood about a witch that was said to live there. A witch who liked to hunt children. Of course, it’s just a folklore story and their journey is uneventful.

That is until they come across a crashed car. One that looks like it crashed recently, and is missing all its occupants. Against the pleas of his daughter, Mats decides to check it out, especially as it looks like a baby was in the car.

The pair are in for a night like no other now.

Dancing around spoilers here, as Im Wald is all about tension building and reveals. Which, thanks to tight writing, results in a really neat film that ties everything up nicely.

Be warned, this is not a film for those who desire fast-paced action and non-stop horror. Im Wald is a slow-moving film and features a small cast. However, that allows these characters to shine and grow as the film goes on. Mats is really likable, but it’s even better to see a teenager written the way Mia is. Not at constant conflict with her father, and willing to both listen and share her own feelings on matters. It makes them both so much more real, and both actors do great here.

Another aspect of Im Wald that stands out how it looks. There are some great shots and angles used to create tension. This forest is imposing and the darkness feels suffocating, yet, scenes are lit so well, you’re never left peering into the murkiness wondering what is going on. For a film set predominantly in a dark forest, it is really watchable.

If you are a fan of slow-burn tension-building horror with strong thriller aspects, then you will enjoy this film. It’s not perfect; some of the character decisions are questionable and the switch to a more slasher style of horror does initially feel jarring, but it is good none the less.


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Im Wald (2022)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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