A couple go hiking/camping in the woods, stray off the path and end up coming under attack from monsters. It’s a synopsis that is all too familiar but Redwood tries to vary it up.
Josh (Mike Beckingham) and Beth (Tatjana Inez Nardone) are the films stars. They’ve decided to spend a bit of time exploring the outdoors as their relationship has been strained but not for the reasons you might expect. Redwood’s difference maker is Josh’s leukaemia diagnosis.
He’s been recently diagnosed and the couple want to make the most of the time they have to together. Josh likes to crack jokes about his illness, something that winds Beth up who seems to constantly want him to be realistic. Their bickering and the shifts in tone can be quite jarring. Moments of comedic lightness are often brought crashing to a halt with awkward and poorly time ‘emotional’ moments that rarely hit.
A lot of that comes from how unconvincing a couple Josh and Beth are. Strained relationship or not, they have little chemistry and the lack of affection shown between the two doesn’t help. While it is nice to see a couple in horror lean more to a relaxed view of a relationship, this inevitably harms its finale.
Neither amaze with their performances and the clunky dialogue makes the general chatter sound forced.
When the inevitable horror part of the story comes screeching out of the woods, Redwood’s game does step up. Initially creepy thanks to a stellar location, the film throws its monsters out for all to see. Some form of vampiric, Descent-lite creature that impress by focusing on practical effects and their chilling screams.
While they’re not scary, the environment helps build a decent sense of dread and mystery. What are these creatures? Where did they come from and what is inside the mausoleum that the couple end up stumbling across?
Redwood may have an overly familiar feel but the added touches to make it stand out work. The issues are apparent and hard to ignore but the effort put in can be admired.
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The Final Score - 6/10