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The Backwoods [DVD]

3.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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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...

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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: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00136MBUM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,977 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Backwoods [DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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"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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I watched this because I am a fan of Gary Oldman, based on his performances in other films. This film however was awful. No real plot. No resolution, no conclusion. Bunch of folks in the woods with shot guns trying to rescue a wild girl who was locked up by family members for some unknown reason--except noticeable hand deformity? People get shot. It rains. End of story.

The only thing I really liked about it was the Leonard Cohen song in the beginning.
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I like the movie. A bit suspense. However, it didn't clearly explained whats up with that girl? and why she better be kept as a secret? I wish at the end of this movie, they elaborate a little detail. I like Gary Oldman as one of the leading actor. I first saw his movie with Wynona (DRACULA) & the professional (he's a tough drug lord syndicate). However, story like this always happened. Those some who travelled overseas encountered problem with locals (resident of that town) and end up in captivity/kidnap/ played with & murdered because of discrimination (cultural background & rare physical appearances of caucasian feature & other ethnicity) which sometimes misunderstood by some. Ex. here in the US you could dress tight & skimpy going to the local grocery. But if you visited overseas country and dress the same way you dress as when you're in your country, some locals thinks that a bit offensive to women that are from to that country & seductive to men.
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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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