Don’t Go In The Woods … Again
Being lost in the woods is a scary enough scenario. But being lost in the woods with someone or something hunting you down is wholly terrifying. Christopher Denham (Home Movie) uses the latter to minimal effect as the setup for his second feature Preservation.
Wit (Wrenn Schmidt, Boardwalk Empire, Our Idiot Brother), her husband Mike (Aaron Staton, Mad Men, Ray Donovan) and his brother Sean (Pablo Schreiber, Orange is the New Black, The Wire) head into the woods for a weekend hunting trip. After their first night, they wake to find an “X” drawn on their foreheads and all their stuff missing. At first, Mike suspects Sean is playing a trick on them but soon three masked men appear and the hunt begins.
I’m usually a big fan of these types of movies, whether the problem is a masked killer, a monster or even just Mother Nature. The issue I had with Preservation is that it takes a strong enough concept and doesn’t do anything with it. The main characters were relatable. The locations were creepy. But the introduction of the antagonists (three masked men with guns who ride mountain bikes) doesn’t build any tension. Every confrontation ends the same way and the bad guys simply shrug off the multiple beatings they receive. Even a stabbing doesn’t phase one of them. These superhuman monsters are revealed to be three teenage boys living out their violent video game fantasies. A tired statement on today’s youth beaten over our heads. The only scene where they interact shows them communicating through texts even though they’re sitting right next to one another. We get it. Teenagers are the worst.
Other films have done it better. Skip this one and check out Eden Lake or Ils instead. Not recommended.
Availability: Netflix US, Netflix Canada