Movie Review – Fear the Forest (2009)

Fear the Forest
Directed by Matthew Bora
Courtesy of MVD Entertainment
Release Date: August 20, 2013

Fear the Forest

As a guy who has been behind the camera a couple of times, I know the joys and pains that being a filmmaker can bring. Making movies is definitely not as easy as some people think. Because I realize how tough the process can be, I always feel bad when I have to give a negative review to a low-budget film. Such is the case here with FEAR THE FOREST. This film has its heart in the right place, but unfortunately the execution is far from enjoyable.

If you’re not familiar with FEAR THE FOREST, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of MVD:

Ten Years ago, there was a “Ghost-like something” seen killing people in the woods as people were culled away one by one and some never to be found. What really happened? This year reports have surfaced that it was all just a “Hoax.” A local philanthropist believes differently and puts a $2.5 Million Dollar Bounty on this “Beast” in the woods and a team of expert hunters go out looking for the “Silent Killer.”

I really wanted to like this one. The cover looks cool and the premise sounds intriguing. But sometimes a film can simply be TOO low-budget. The production in this film falls flat and the resulting product looks (and sounds) like a high school A/V project gone bad.

FEAR THE FOREST is one of those films that could be a blockbuster hit…if it had a bigger budget, if it had better acting and special effects, and if it was promoted correctly (I personally don’t think a monster or creature should ever be put on a DVD cover…let us find out what it looks like in the film!). As you can see, that’s a big list of ‘ifs’, and its just too overwhelming.

The film looks as if it were shot on an old VHS home video camera. The sound is way too muted and, in some cases, the actors cannot be heard over wind and ambient background noise. The blood/gore doesn’t look too great (looks evidently fake), although the creature effects are not half bad. I’m not sure if I would have chosen the particular look for the Bigfoot legend, but they do look pretty good onscreen.

As much as it pains me to say this, I cannot with a clear conscience recommend this film to anyone. I’m sure it is a labor of love, however FEAR THE FOREST is simply so low-budget that it hurts. I would give this one a pass and wait to see what director Matthew Bora does next.


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