One hot summer weekend, four friends set out on a camping trip through the isolated scenery of the East Coast. During the night they encounter six masked assailants bent on tormenting them without motive, without reason and without mercy. As morning dawns, the reality of what will come is even more terrifying than anything the group could have ever imagined...
Don't be confused ...
- If A Tree Falls review by NP
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You rated this film: 4
Not to be confused - as this very page seems to be! - with the 2011 Earth Liberation Front documentary of the same name, this very low budget horror treads the kind of woodland ground previously visited by the Wrong Turn films, and similar. As far as I can tell, there is no direct reference to any timeline, but the appealingly grainy imagery and hallucinogenic interruptions of colour suggest either a ‘found footage’ approach (a genre which this film doesn’t exploit) or a story set in the 60s/70s (modern day trappings would indicate this isn’t the case either). So, the scratchy, stuttering film-work is an artistic decision, it seems. I think it works very well on two levels. Firstly, the approach deliberately obfuscates some of the more graphic moments so you can’t quite see what manner of violence is being inflicted on the four hapless travellers, and secondly, it makes things more visually interesting than they might otherwise have been.
Such a style of suggestion also helps mask the lack of budget. The six assailants that terrorise the travellers on their road-trip, all wear stocking masks. The rips in the masks suggest some deformity beneath, leading to speculation they are inbred outcasts, or the result of some failed genetic experiment. This is not elaborated on. Still, the effect is successful.
The travellers – Brad, Lisa, Will and Vanessa – are hardly flawless, and have their own secrets to tell, but are fairly likeable, and certainly don’t deserve the bizarre treatment they are subjected to. Describing themselves as ‘the ones who can’t be found’, the attackers treat their victims with a sick mockery of fascination and torture – followed, without warning, by death (at least for most). Whether these outsiders are looking to increase their army by torturing ‘normal’ people into joining them isn’t made clear, but feint rumours of a sequel promise to expand on this. The story may not be hugely original, but the execution of it certainly is, and I would welcome a revisit.