Starring J. Michael Trautmann, Dana Melanie, Daniel Fredrick, Clint James, Shannon Knopke
Directed by Michael G. Bartlett
If tension is what you want in a good horror film (and we all know, it’s tension that makes a film memorable in the long run), then you’ll certainly agree that Treehouse starts out with loads of it. Beginning with an opening scene that is sure to draw audiences in, Treehouse is a simple but effective flick that will grab your attention right out of the gate.
After it’s blazing intro, featuring Dana Melanie as the lead female, Elizabeth, Treehouse is the story of two brothers who mischievously venture into the woods for a party, but soon find themselves at the mercy of a painfully devious group. There is a veil of terror over the small town in which the film is set as, “…it’s happening again,” children have been suddenly going missing. With a backwoods feel that rings of The Hills Have Eyes and Wrong Turn, Treehouse begins as something that feels like a supernatural struggle and then takes a more realistic turn.
The young stars of the film, the aforementioned Dana Melanie and J. Michael Trautmann (who plays the more innocent of the party-going brothers, Killian) are fantastic. Through two separate series of events, the duo finds themselves holed up in a treehouse randomly discovered in the woods. The treehouse becomes both their sanctuary and their prison as something (or some things) in the woods begin a merciless attack on any and all others who venture to or from the area of the treehouse.
Aside from a few key moments, there is little in the ways of special F/X in the film. But not much is needed. Instead, Treehouse goes for toe-curling chills, rather than out-and-out blood-letting. What it lacks in gore, it more than makes up for in ambiance and a sense of dread. To add to the foreboding feeling that permeates Treehouse, the filmmakers used music brilliantly to really drive their message home. This is a movie that tries to curl your toes and make you peek through your fingers at every chance it gets.
As the pair finds themselves going through a terrifying night, with no chance of escaping the treehouse, a claustrophobic feel takes over. It’s got the taste of a classic Stephen King story, like Cujo or Misery, where the characters find themselves with no chance of escaping a situation that, sooner-or-later, is going to become deadly.
So just what is stalking young Elizabeth and Killian? Well, it simply wouldn’t be fair for us to tell you that. You’ve got to give Treehouse a look for yourself to see just what kind of nightmares director Michael Bartlett has in store for you. You can have confidence going into the picture that you are going to do your share of nail-biting during the movie. The story is nothing incredibly ground-breaking at all. It’s quite basic, actually, but Bartlett manages to add enough flavor to the story to make it quite entertaining with a pretty brutal revelation during the climax of the movie that will make it worth your while. If you’re looking for a tense and creepy night at the movies, give Treehouse a look.