Making its Pacific Northwest premiere at Portland Horror Film Festival is Canadian supernatural thriller Woodland Grey. A woman hiking alone in the woods is injured, and a man living in the woods seems to come to her aid, but he’s keeping a dark secret locked away in his shed. The woman decides to open the shed, but what she unleashes is something truly terrifying.
Written by Adam Reider and Jesse Toufexis, with Reider helming as director, Woodland Grey is a haunting tale of grief, guilt, and evil. It’s a slow, methodical, and contemplative film that might not have a quick enough pacing to appeal to all audiences, but the plot is highly compelling. It uses a supernatural entity to bring to life the conflicting feelings one goes through when they lose a loved one, and this is done in a way that is as thought-provoking as it his frightening.
The two leads of this film are both wonderful. Jenny Raven (Riot Girls, Flatliners) shines as Emily. This character experiences everything along with the audience, reacting to things the way most people would who don’t understand the whole context of the horror she sees. Ryan Blakely (The Boys, Awake) also delivers a haunting performance as William. Blakely is fantastic and portrays William in a way that makes him seem both suspicious and sympathetic. Woodland Grey includes some simplistic yet striking imagery that stands out in the mostly colorless film.
Woodland Grey is a haunting slow-burn that uses the supernatural to examine the long-lasting guilt often accompanying loss.
OVERALL RATING: 7/10