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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Kevin F. Barrett, Matthew Bora, Anna Kendrick, Jared Michalski
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Matthew Bora
MPAA RATING
Equiv. to "R"
RUNNING TIME
110 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Lost Empire Films
DVD EXTRAS
Director interviews; Behind-the-scenes; "Making of" Creature; Deleted Scenes; 2 Music Videos; Theatrical Trailer
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 "Fear the Forest?" Fear This Film.  
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Five college students (Matthew Bora, Anna Kendrick, Jared Michalski, Elana Safar, and Stephen Sherman) decide to spend a weekend camping in the deep woods. By the next day, all but Barbara (Kendrick) and her fiance' Kurtis (Sherman) are thought to be dead. 

The believed culprit? The long elusive Bigfoot, a beast that Native Americans are said to have feared and respected as a God. Long believed to have been responsible for killing people in these deep woods, this creature now has Barbara and Kurtis on the run as they fight for their survival while also encountering equally ill-meaning backwoods folks (Alan Schilling, Bill Kalatsky) while also encountering yet another odd duck of a hillbilly (Don Evans). 

Fear the Forest has been languishing around since about 2009 and is now being given a solid release by growing indie distributor Lost Empire Films, an outfit that seems to be focusing their energies on the B-movie/indie horror genre that has a built-in audience even when the films themselves aren't exactly of a higher quality. 

Such is the case with Fear the Forest, a film that takes way too long to take off and never really becomes compelling until Barbara is really left to fend for herself and the quality performance of Anna Kendrick really takes hold. 

I should clarify that this is not THAT Anna Kendrick that you fell in love with from Up in the Air, Twilight or Pitch Perfect. While nearly every actor/actress has a few projects they may regret from their early days, this is not one of them for THAT Kendrick. 

This Kendrick, while not quite up to the performance standards of THAT Kendrick, is still a talented Kendrick. 

Following?

Fear the Forest has some decent story twists and, I must say, that despite the film's obvious low budget Bora does a decent enough job constructing a believable and fun Bigfoot creature. The film has a definite retro vibe to it in sort of weaving together old school horror with those old 70's Bigfoot/creature films that we all watched on late night television. Other aspects of the film's production are hit-and-miss across the board, ranging from overly simplistic editing to far more satisfying original music. 

Lost Empire has also given the film an abundance of DVD extras that are highly recommended. If you've never watched DVD extras for an ultra-indie flick, it's highly recommended as you never know quite what to expect from up-and-coming cast and crew. Visit the Lost Empire website for more information on Fear the Forest. 

Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic 

 

    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
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    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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