After this thrilling start we are taken to the protagonists of the story – husband and wife Dinah and Jake (Elena Caruso and Chris Conner). Experiencing some marital problems and desperate to get away from the city they decide to take their children away to the country for the summer. Arriving in an Amish village they begin to embrace nature and try and work on a fresh start. However, strange things start happening, the children start seeing things and there seems to be something dark and dubious about the nearby woods. It’s up to the family to discover just what secrets harbour here until it might be too late.
Clearly influenced by the likes of The Blair Witch Project, The Wicker Man and possibly more recently Kill List, this film has a good idea at its centre and is creepy and unnerving at times. It’s well shot and never looks low budget but it doesn’t seem to know quite where it wants to go. Like a lot of horrors it suffers from revealing its twist far too late and therefore rushing towards a conclusion it isn’t even sure of. The twist in itself is clever and unpredictable. It does on the whole add up and if there was less padding early on - featuring endless lines of cringe worthy family dialogue – it would have much more of an impact.
The acting is a bit hit and miss; the Amish characters are quite solid overall, the most convincing is probably young boy Jacob (Alex Yurcaba) whose fear of the woods and what it holds within is believable. However once we get to Dinah, Jake and the children it starts to reach TV Movie territory and a lot of the line deliveries are poor. You can’t really empathise with them all that much because it all feels forced. The other characters are much more interesting to follow.
Although it has a few faults and loses its direction towards the end at least Kraljevic has tried to take a different approach here and not just gone with the typical jump-scare, found-footage escapade that has taken over so much of the genre in the last twenty years. The setting is unique and effective and there are some haunting moments. Unfortunately it’s just a weak script and some below-par performances which let it down.