Over-imaginative 12 year-old Sam heads off to the woods to summer scout camp with his pack convinced he will encounter a monster...and he does.
I should really start screening movies before I show them for review. I'm sure someone might take that as a negative sign that this movie isn't good - but that isn't entirely true. It just happens that once again I've picked a movie that, after a short portion of plot, becomes filled with easy to ruin surprises. Ah well, we all know the drill, we'll get through this. But will the little pack of scouts survive their camping trip? Would the name Welp have been a better choice? Stay tuned to find out I guess.
A panicked woman is charging through the woods, trying to escape something when she trips up on a wire strewn across the ground. A tiny little monster stands in the woods proceeding towards her, but she sees some car-lights in the distance and hope for a rescue from her dire situation. She takes off from the critter, climbs a hill full of foliage, and emerges on the other side into a clearing with some giant elaborate device to simulate car lights in the middle of the woods. As she states her dismay and turns to run, we see a hand and large arm come in from off-screen and grab her by the throat.
Cut to the movie start, where a kid is charging forward on his bike in a hurry. The camera pops over to a couple of troop leaders (mind you, I'm using American terminology here - I'm not sure how accurate calling the Belgian equivalent of this all the American names is) discussing if they should wait any longer. After some more swapping back and forth of the camera, they've decided it's time to get their troop together and set off on their trip - with the kid on his bike arriving slightly after the line up, netting him some push-ups. As it would be, they are all going off on a camping trip - but it's no perfect picture, as there's been reports of a wild-boy who turns into a werewolf at night out there! Still, it's off they go, and after picking up another chaperon on the road they are dismayed to see a couple of local punks cruising around their campsite in a go-kart.
There's a bit of conflict there, then the troop leaders carry on further into the woods to find a new site. They get ahold of a local policeman who toots his way over on a little motorized bike and get permission to stay in the spot they are at - despite a spooky warning about a lot of folks who committed suicide out there after a local factory closed down. Things go sort of normal until the bike kid from earlier claims he saw the monster out in the woods. Of course, nobody believes him, but he (and we) knows he saw it. Will he be able to prove it to them all before it gets to be too late?
Look, there's a lot more to it than that. I don't think I've even gone half way through the movie with that rundown, but anything else will ruin the little reveals and "twist!" that this movie has. It's essentially a boiling pot of slow, simmering tensions I feel is meant to at least make the viewer feel slightly uncomfortable and also a bit sympathetic to the bike kid. In that regard, it's much like a typical slasher movie - there's a bunch of jerks you don't care for and at times almost root for to get killed, and there's one or two that you are really hoping make it out all right. The kid's interactions towards trying to find this monster to prove he's not full of crap leads to the main "adventure" moments of this flick.
Of course, then (if you couldn't guess from the short blabberings on plot) the movie starts playing it's hands all too early, taking away a good chunk of the mystery before it's even really had the chance to begin. Sure, they raise other questions - "whose that?" "why is that there?" - but don't expect most of them to be answered. Don't get me wrong, it works fine enough for those who don't need to be provided with every bit of detail as to why things that are are - knowing these things wouldn't really drive the plot in any other way than it already is, it would just prolong the movie. Still, I find myself disappointed with the ending. I find that a "good" or "bad" ending (as in "feels good man" or "well that was depressing") can be equally fitting in movies, and despite some movies having that "bad" ending you still walk away feeling like it couldn't have been handled any better. Having said that, this one just felt kind of unsatisfying to me - as though somebody had just run out of ideas and said "nobody would expect this!" or "you know what would be cool?"
Actors I can't comment on too much, as I don't speak the language - which means I'm relying entirely on body language. From what I catch of it, performances aren't too bad though. Audio's well enough balanced, although characters don't really feel as though they are much more developed than any slasher movie you might see - which can be a bit disappointing if you were expecting something above the average. Effects work, what there is of it, is likewise pretty decent stuff. I should warn that there is a dog death in here - as from my experience, people care way more about something like that then babies, kids, adults, aliens, robots, or near any other sort of thing getting murdered - even though it doesn't really hide that it's coming at all.
I guess in the long run I'd have to call this one average. It was an interesting concept that brought me in and that spark was there for a good amount of the movie, but inevitably things just sunk into this more mediocre tale that deviated from what I had thought it would be. Nothing really comes from out of left field with this movie, as it's all pretty well broadcast whats coming a good scene or so before it would have been surprising. If you're big into slasher flicks, this will feel like a slasher-lite and might not quite interest you, but it's not a terrible little horror flick for fans of the genre. I certainly don't expect it to be turning anyone on to the genre though.