Timber Falls (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Beth Broderick, Nick Searcy, Josh Randall, Brianna Brown
Directed by Tony Giglio
Distributed by Vivendi Entertainment
Women. They can make you do some seriously crazy and stupid stuff sometimes. Here's a tip for all the guys out there: If you're hiking in the woods with your girl and then have a run-in with some good ol' boys that you barely come away from unscathed, no matter how much your lady friend pleads with you -- NEVER GET RID OF YOUR GUN OR YOUR BULLETS. Shit happens in the woods, man. That's why I make it a point to stay out of such situations. I'm not climbing a mountain because it's there, I'm not sleeping on the insect-laden ground, and I'm not squatting in a bush to take a dump. These principles practically guarantee that I'd survive most "lost in the woods" type scenarios because I wouldn't be there in the first place, but if I was ... believe you me, I'd be packing some kind of heat, and no one would be able to talk me into getting rid of my cold steel safety blanket. Thankfully for entertainment's sake the couple in Timber Falls didn't share my views because then we'd have nothing to talk about.
Mike (Randall) and Sheryl (Brown) were just looking to get away from the city. You know, spend some time with nature. Little did they know their excursion would end up with them having to endure some of the most unnatural things possible. We're talking angry, religious fanatical rednecks who will stop at nothing to get what they're after. And what is it they want, you're wondering? Simple -- for our couple to join together in holy wedlock and conceive for them a child to raise as part of their twisted family. Throw in a mangled deformed brute who does most of the family's dirty work, and you have the recipe for a good old fashioned slaughter stroll through the high timbers.
Even though the top of the DVD box art reads "From the Producers of Live Free or Die Hard and Lord of War", don't let that dissuade you. While that sentence doesn't necessarily scream Horror Cred, I can assure you the folks behind this latest fright foray know what they're doing and, more importantly, realize what they're making. Timber Falls has a lot to say for a little horror film. It touches upon a lot of hot button issues like religion, marriage, and abortion, but it does so in a manner that never seems heavy-handed or preachy. Even better, no matter what signals are being sent, the filmmakers never lose sight of the fact that horror is the main thing on the agenda. Instead of just making a quickie slasher flick, everyone involved seemed more intent on making sure this movie had some real quality poured into it. Everything could have easily just been phoned in, and lord knows we've seen that happen a gazillion times; yet, the acting (especially the very believable Randall and Brown), writing, and Giglio's direction are all right on target ... at least most of the time. Timber Falls does succumb to a few pitfalls here and there such as a couple of painful false notes and a glaring continuity error, but for the most part these derailments are brief and easily forgivable.
On the supplemental side of the fence things appear pretty skimpy at first. All that's here is a behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer. Yeah, that's not what we'd call stacked, but I have to say the forty-minute making-of was better than average and nearly as engaging as the film itself.
While director Giglio and writer Daniel Kay may be relatively new names within the horror genre, I'm willing to bet that should they stick around, they will be turning out some pretty decent stuff, and wow, do we need it. Timber Falls proves itself to be a cut above the paint-by-numbers crap we're usually force fed and as a result ends up being a rarely had breath of fresh air. Even though said breath happened to have escaped from a blood-spurting severed jugular.
3 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
Discuss Timber Falls in our Dread Central forums!