By Don Simpson | July 3, 2012
Director: Vincent D’Onofrio
Writers: Vincent D’Onofrio (story), Sam Bisbee (screenplay), Joe Vinciguerra (screenplay)
Starring: Matt Sbeglia, Soomin Lee, Casey Smith, Nick Thorp, Jorgen Jorgensen, Kate O’Malley, Ali Tobia, Cassandra Walker, Gwynn Galitzer, Tim Lajcik, Bo Boddie, Eric Bogosian
Five Brooklyn hipster musicians go camping in the hopes of finding a muse (fresh air?) for their next album. Led by oh-so-sensitive-and-serious Nick (Matt Sbeglia), there are very specific rules for this outing: no drugs, no weed, no booze, no girls. Unfortunately, Nick’s bandmates have no respect for his rules. Cue a gaggle of groupies who show up to their campsite with booze. Party on!
Nick grew up hanging out these woods. He has not been here since he was eight or nine; but, as Nick explains, “woods don’t change man.” Nonetheless, somebody has put up a sign on the trail that reads “DON’T GO IN THE WOODS.” That right there should be reason enough to go straight back to Brooklyn. Additionally, they should really listen to their blind bass player (Nick Thorp), who keeps hearing suspicious noises. They never listen, do they?
The hipsters argue incessantly, which is made even more grating by the stilted dialogue. Occasionally, they sing some songs about their feelings of loneliness, frustration, jealousy, terror… Oh, yes! That’s right! This is a hipster indie rock musical! Hold on, make that a slasher-cum-musical. Sounds intriguing, huh? Well…
Unfortunately, the slasher aspect of the narrative is a complete afterthought. There is no suspense, no thrills or chills. In fact, this is one of the least creepy or scary or funny or entertaining horror films I have ever watched. The only thing Don’t Go in the Woods has in common with the slasher genre is the flatly constructed, ridiculously unlikable protagonists who spew utterly inane dialogue.
Vincent D’Onofrio’s excruciatingly dull directorial debut (but I am still a fan of his acting!), Don’t Go in the Woods was recently released on DVD by New Video.