It reminded me much of a Ross and Rachel situation from Friends almost but done in a much more efficient and effective time frame within the confines of a relatively short feature film. I was hooked in the opening few minutes. It is a world of it's own. Beyond the Woods became my favourite horror film of the year and maybe my favourite of the past 5 years. The friends are determined to make a good weekend of it even though the roads around the area are closed and there's a nauseating stink outside.
Extremely naturalistic performances and dialogue with stimulating cinematography all skillfully edited together make for an early Christmas present. I could feel the tension in the pit of my stomach building gradually in what felt like an expertly designed suspense arch created by director Sean Breathnach. I've seen Beyond the Woods only the one time at the Super Geek film festival in Florida. . Seven friends have decided to meet up after not seeing each other for a long time.
Originally from Ireland I went out of my way while I was spending a month in Fort Lauderdale. They might be confined to the house, but they know how to party. The other characters are much more up for partying and escaping to isolation. As the weekend progresses some of the friends start behaving out of character, one disappears, and they all experience troubling events. There is a good portion of the movie used for set-up purposes but it does so blissfully.
Ray played by Mark Griffin is very believable as the inconsiderate corporate asshole who doesn't deserve his girlfriend. The location presented in the movie is iconic. Very clearly defined characters portrayed by really great actors. Director Sean Breathnach is clearly one of our brightest hopes for the future of horror movies. The performances in the movie are outstanding and all the actors very easy to watch. Beyond The Woods is a supernatural horror movie set in an isolated house in the middle of a forest.
Unfortunately for them a fiery sink-hole has opened up in the mountains near the house and it's burning hot and spewing out sulphur. It's too late when they realise that it's not just a sink-hole that opened near their isolated retreat, but something altogether more horrific. Special effects had nothing low budget whatsoever looking about them, every bit as good as the special effects in any Hollywood heavyweight horror film I've ever seen. I really didn't know what to expect at all. I found myself relating to the Ger character quite soon as he's almost a social misfit but more because his long term girlfriend has left him not like me who feels that way in social situations all the time. Amazing debut feature from Sean Breathnach.
But having said that Ger played beautifully by John Ryan Howard is clearly written as the outside character - he doesn't want to be there. I felt like I wanted more shots around the site where it was filmed because it's gorgeous in a horror film way that is! Its strongest suit is the element that too many low-budget horror films bungle — believable characters and decent performances. Beyond the woods A gathering of friends is thrown into chaos by the opening of a mysterious fiery sinkhole near their secluded holiday home. The third act in the movie unleashes hell so to speak. Brilliantly played by a great ensemble cast. My favourite actors in the movie would have to be Ger John Ryan Howard and Ray Mark Griffin though. Director Sean Breathnach builds the story in a way that makes the audience root for Ger John Ryan Howard and Lucy Irene Kelleher to get together and for Lucy to just leave Ray altogether.
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