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The Backwoods (2006)

Gary Oldman , Virginie Ledoyen , Koldo Serra  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Oldman, Virginie Ledoyen, Paddy Considine, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Jon Ariño
  • Directors: Koldo Serra
  • Writers: Koldo Serra, Jon Sagalá
  • Producers: Aintzane Pérez de Palomar, Aitor Lizarralde, Ander Sistiaga, Antonia Nava, Carlos Fernández
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00136MBUM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,660 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Backwoods" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Summer 1978: two couples decide to spend the summer in a remote vacation house in the north of Spain. Hidden away in the middle of a forest, and very much off the beaten track, the house seems ideal for some peaceful holidays. While out hunting, the two men come across an abandoned house and discover a deformed, animalistic girl chained inside. They bring her back to the house, intending to take her to the authorities. Tension with the rural locals heightens when they come looking for the girl armed with shotguns...

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
(13)
3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but entertaining throughout July 14, 2008
Format:DVD
If you enjoyed films like 'Deliverance (inbred hillbilly folk hunting down tourists)' and/or 'Straw Dogs (wimpy man tired of being pushed around finally learns to grow a pair and protects his woman)' then 'The Backwoods' is right up your alley in delivering a stylized 1970s-esque action thriller set in the Basque hills of Spain. Keep in mind that this film isn't meant to cater to the Euro art house cinema crowd. This flick is a slice of pure, B-grade genre kettlecorn that would actually fit in quite nicely as part of a Tarantino Grindhouse double feature.

Also of note - this disc has ZERO extras save for a handful of LionsGate trailers. The 5.1 mix is surprisingly robust. Video transfer quality gets a 7/10 from me. Definitely give this film a rental - at the very least!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"The Backwoods" (original title "Bosque de sombras") follow the story of two married couples holidaying in Spain and their nightmarish experiences. One couple is played by Gary Oldman and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and the other by Paddy Considine and Virginie Ledoyen. I don't know why, but the time is set in the 1970s. Perhaps they wanted to call up the memories of two masterpieces made in the 70s: "Straw Dogs" and "Deliverance."

In fact, Paddy Considine's mild-mannered character Norman might remind us of Dustin Hoffmann's hero in the Sam Peckinpah classic. Two male characters Norman and Oldman's Paul, who has an assertive personality, travel to the "backwoods" in Spain with their wives for a summer holiday only to get involved with conflict with the locals after finding a little girl imprisoned in a shack.

If you look at the DVD jacket of the film, you will find the filmmakers are using the face and name of Gary Oldman to attract potential viewers. It is understandable. As you know, he is an excellent actor, whose charismatic performance alone is always worth the money you pay. But I must say that in "The Backwoods" the task of carrying the whole story to the end is not given to the character Oldman plays. You wish you could see more of his acting, which is not his best, it is certain, but surely his presence could have raised the tension of the film a little higher than it is.

In fact "The Backwoods" takes too much time to build up the tension it really needs. The film's pace gets faster in the second, but it never delivers the goods it promised at the beginning of the story.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, a bit of a confusing mess. March 27, 2008
Format:DVD
While holidaying in the Basque region of Spain, two couples discover a child whose hands are severely misshapen. The child has been gravely mistreated, and, as a result, cannot communicate. The two couples reluctantly decide to rescue her and report her circumstances to the authorities. However, severe weather and the denseness of the forest surrounding their holiday home make it impossible for them to make a quick getaway. Soon, the local inhabitants become aware that the girl is missing, and they rightly suspect the holiday-makers of taking her. Suspicions and paranoia begin to fester, and it isn't long before violence erupts. The villagers demand the little girl's return, and her rescuers refuse to give her up. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues, making a return to normalcy impossible for everyone involved.

The premise for The Backwoods is an intriguing one. The idea of how quickly basic human instincts make situations spiral out of control, is nearly always used to good effect in movies. For any writer/director, this concept opens up a myriad of opportunities to shock, as well as to fascinate. This fact probably accounts for why this device is a much-overused set piece. Films of this genre, when well executed, are guaranteed, at the very least, cult-classic status (e.g., Deliverance and Straw Dogs). However, when poorly executed, the resultant films can resemble a confusing, farcical mess. Unfortunately, The Backwoods is an example of the latter.

The Backwoods starts off well, trying to develop the main characters, before violence eventually erupts. However, what we have learned of their character in the initial scenes gives us little insight as to why the characters react as they do to the situation they are dealt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Persecuting a little girl? Say it ain't so! April 24, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I have to give it to the director and all of the staff that filmed The Backwoods; the film truly does have a feel of late-70s nostalgia. That being the case, while the setting feels genuine, the plot tends to meander and never really picks up much of a pace. The story is simple: two couples are going on a vacation to an old farmhouse in the Basque Mountains of Spain. They are British; the couple who own the farmhouse speak fluent Spanish, the other two do not. On their way to the getaway they stop at the "last sign of civilization" and grab a quick drink. Some Spaniards drinking at a table say some rude things about English tourists only knowing enough Spanish to get drunk, the fluent gentleman admonishes them, the wife of the first guy walks into the doorway of the pub with a wet shirt on and showing it off to the patrons, and off they go.

After this setup, you are waiting for the suspense to start. Couple #1 (who don't speak Spanish) are going through a difficult period on their marriage, with the wife being cold and almost rude to her husband, who lacks a spine. Couple #2 are much more worldly, the husband owns the farmhouse, is more of an outdoorsman, and is the de facto "leader" of the group. Everyone looks up to him for guidance, especially the husband from couple #1. With this setup, the two men go hunting and find a "deformed" girl locked up in a squalid cabin alone, filthy, feral, and with only a doll to keep her company.

Now, the plot summary already tells you that they attempt to rescue the girl and it irritates some of the villagers. At this point you would think that the action picks up a bit, maybe you would see some stalking or other aspects to raise the tension. Nope.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Indigenous versus Wealthy European/Roman Settlers
A little girl is locked up in the woods. She has fused fingers. The family and the villager don''t kill her for her abnormality but they don't let her interact with the rest of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dwight
5.0 out of 5 stars The Backwoods
This movie is pretty good, love Mr. Gary Oldman, I was wishing for a good outsome on ending for him, but overall it was a excellent movie, worth watching again.
Published on February 15, 2012 by Icedte
4.0 out of 5 stars a family's hidden shame leads to a torrent of violence...
With some solid acting performances, The Backwoods (2007) is a tense and edgy thriller with some dark undercurrents swirling beneath the surface, as newcomers to the Basque region... Read more
Published on October 17, 2011 by trebe
3.0 out of 5 stars Film teters on the edge
This is an unresolved story and that will leave many unsatisfied if you like neatly tied up endings. Read more
Published on October 26, 2010 by John L. Guest
2.0 out of 5 stars The Spanish Outback looks hella boring and so did this movie.
The cooking shows Made in Spain and the Gwyneth Paltrow one haven't disabused me of this opinion. Everything looks very desert-y so who would travel to the boonies because the... Read more
Published on July 12, 2010 by Cleo
3.0 out of 5 stars did not finish watching
i got bored, but i have not finished watching so who know it might turn out good
Published on November 16, 2009 by Michele Carter
1.0 out of 5 stars THE BACKWOODS
Too slow moving, never explained why the girl was left in abandon house locked in a room dirty, filty, didn't speak. Read more
Published on June 7, 2008 by Anthony J. Sinisi
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Play In The Woods!!
I admit it. I'm a sucker for a Gary Oldman flick. Just show me his name on the screen and I'm there, ready and willing. Gary Oldman is the bomb. Read more
Published on May 24, 2008 by Deidra Cox
2.0 out of 5 stars Gary, Gary, what were you thinking?
I admit, I rented this because I saw Gary Oldman's picture on the disc cover, but what a disappointment. What were you thinking, Gary? Read more
Published on April 24, 2008 by MommaMia
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