Film Review: DARK FOREST (2015)

Film Review: DARK FOREST (2015)

Dec 22, 2016

One of the most popular genres for retro filmmakers has been the slasher film, and for good reason, they’re still popular, even long after their peak in the 80’s…and they’re relatively cheap to film. Unfortunately it’s also led to a lot of bad films either due to lack of talent, a misunderstanding of the genre, or a cynical attitude of using it as a cheap stepping stone to something bigger.  But when they get it right the results can be a lot of fun, especially for those of us who remember the original wave of these films. Roger Boyer’s DARK FOREST gets it right.


Emily (Laurel McArthur) has had about enough of her abusive boyfriend Peter (Dennis Scullard) and a fight over her going on a weekend camping trip with the girls proves to be the final straw. She leaves him and heads off with her friends. Of course this doesn’t sit well with her now ex, at first egged on by a couple of friends until they realize ruining her weekend means more than just egging the girls tent. He’s out for blood, and anyone who crosses his path is going to regret it.

As you can see, a pretty straight forward slasher plot. It has a few differences, such as there’s no masked killer, we know who’s doing it all along, or his having a reluctant minion. But the basics are all there, crazed ex lover, economical woodland setting, group of friends who don’t realize they’re in danger until it’s to late, and random folk there to increase the body count. It’s all there.

And thankfully it’s carried off well, it doesn’t over think itself or try to make itself something more than it is but it doesn’t fall into the trap of being insultingly stupid or obvious. Despite a low budget, the kills are relatively bloody and happen on screen. It’s not a gorefest, but it’s not one of those films that has the kills all off screen either. This would have played to cinema at the mall with a deserved “R” rating back in the day.

Available now on Amazon, iTunes, etc and hopefully there will be a DVD/Blu Ray release. This is a fun throwback to the good old days of stalk and slash and should be on the viewing list of genre fans.