Writer: Mario von Czapiewski (Screenplay)
Starring: Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling, Sarah French, Felissa Rose, Tiffani Fest, Brandon Rhea, Kwame HEad
Plot: Two students are hired by a Hollywood film producer to shoot a horror documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil.
Tagline – Welcome to the darkest place on earth.
Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Running in the Woods 101
Story: Rootwood starts when two podcasters William (Gallant) and Jessica (Dowling) get to meet a horror movie producer Laura Benott (Rose) to shoot a documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil. The pair are joined by Erin (French) and into the forest they go.
The further the trio get into the woods, the stranger the events are, with them looking to document other disappearances, they start to unlock clues to what might be happening, or will they become the latest victims.
Thoughts on Rootwood
Characters – William and Jessica have been working on their supernatural podcast for years, they like to look into stories from a distance, only now William has made connection to get their first field job looking into the unexplained, he see this as his chance to make himself bigger in the community, willing to risk more than life itself, while Jess doesn’t care about becoming as big as her co-star. Erin does bring glamour to the documentary, with the idea of using her status to make the documentary look more appealing to sell. Laura Benott is the producer that hires the team to investigate the Wooden Devil.
Performances – Where this movie is part documentary and mockumentary, it is hard to judge the performances, because Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling and Sarah French are doing the lost in the woods being haunted by something outside side of the film well.
Story – The story here follows three podcasters that look to investigate a local legend, only to find themselves experiencing the horror in the woods themselves. The story can easily be compared to the Blair Witch Project with the documentary filmmakers going into the woods for a story only to find themselves running around in from the danger. It doesn’t get enough to feel completely original, even if it does try to go in a different direction with the final act, it doesn’t seem to get enough to make the impact required.
Horror/Mystery – The horror does fall into the three people running around the woods screaming with noises causing problems for the characters. We don’t seem to get into the mystery behind everything either, which then falls into something that really gets solved.
Settings – The film is set in the random locations within the woods, it could be anywhere without being anywhere we haven’t seen before.
Special Effects – The effects in the film work for the film giving us everything we need for what might be in the costume.
Scene of the Movie – Race to escape.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror that does feel like it wants to try and give the Blair Witch Project, only to get caught up doing everything to similar, even with a fresh outcome.
Overall: The Blair Witch Project without the suspense.