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The Independent Critic

Daphne Schmon, Stefan Piccione
Anthony Ashmore
8 Mins.

 "There's Something in the Woods" Reveals the Monsters of Life  
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Psychological thrillers meets indie horror in writer/director Anthony Ashmore's eight-minute short film There's Something in the Woods, starring Daphne Schmon and Stefan Piccione as a New York City couple vacationing in the upscale Berkshire Mountains following the devastation of a miscarriage. When an interpersonal secret is revealed, the truth  becomes rigidly painful and a psychic turbulence is unleashed within the darkness of the woods.

There's Something in the Woods weaves its way around a story that incorporates elements of intense psychological drama, psychological thriller and good ole' fashioned horror and never really completely reveals itself. The horror in There's Something in the Woods may be real. It may be imagined. It may be going on within the mind of Ashleigh (Schmon).

Perhaps, there's even something more sinister going on.

The strength of the film lies in the fact that we're never completely sure where this psychic turbulence is manifesting from, but we're left to experience the devastating impact it's having on Ashleigh as it envelopes her. 

There's Something in the Woods struggles, however, to maintain a consistent balance between all of its elements and it's that lack of balance that largely leads the film down an unconvincing road of heightened dramatics that never really pan out and a tonal inconsistency that ultimately made never quite give myself to it. The film's original music seems to be playing for a magnified intensity that never really reveals itself in the film's performances that don't really live into that magnified intensity.

There's Something in the Woods is an ambitious and thought-provoking film, though one has a sense that Ashmore was going for something even greater that the film never quite achieves. Tackling a difficult subject from a unique perspective, Ashmore creates a film that may not have quite the impact he'd hoped but will likely leave you contemplating its meaning long after the closing credits have rolled.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  

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