Deep In The Woods

Deep In The Woods


Reviewed by: Nicola Osborne

This is a dark and gory tale revolving around Little Red Riding Hood and several tellings of that story.

When five young actors are asked to perform their retelling of Little Red Riding Hood for an eccentric but wealthy aristocrat and his young orphaned grandson, they readily accept, thinking the high pay and comfy beds will make a pleasant change from the school tours they normally survive on. However it is soon apparent that their host - Axel de Fesen - is just as odd as he seems, and they are soon freaked out by the huge house, creepy staff and isolation of being "deep in the woods". The film is also punctuated by news bulletins about violent rapes and murder hiking up the oddness factor.

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To say that no one in this film is entirely mentally stable is putting it lightly. The actors are all very highly-strung and all involved with each other in jealous romances of some sort. The host is quite clearly a nutcase though he is nothing compared to his grandson who is pure fear embodied. Additionally the gamekeeper/manservant character of Stephane (Denis Lavant) is impressively enigmatic and scary...oh, and there's a full moon... you know something bad will happen. It's just a matter of when and who's gonna be the first victim.

Despite layers of peculiar plot lines and beautiful photography giving the film a Funny Games feeling, it's the multitude of bloody deaths that is particularly entertaining here. Nail guns, taxidermy, wolf suits... oh it's fun! And very silly, though with great seriousness and the cast (or what's left of it) look suitably traumatised as body after body appears via ever more imaginative death scenes...

A stylish effort, the film tries hard to be more complex than necessary and some self-knowing irony might have helped. In spite of the (somewhat laboured) Little Red Riding Hood theme, unpleasant entrails et al, this remains a dark romp, laced with subtle sexual intrigue and is watchable right up to the daft ending.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Deep In The Woods packshot
Horror tale revolving round retellings of Little Red Riding Hood.
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Read more Deep In The Woods reviews:

Keith Hennessey Brown ****
Keith Dudhnath **

Director: Lionel Delplanque

Writer: Annabelle Perrichon, Celine Breuil-Japy, Pierre Alain Lods

Starring: Clotilde Courau, Clement Sibony, Alexia Stresi, Vincent Lecoeur, Maud Buquet

Year: 2000

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: France


EIFF 2000

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