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STUDIO: Anchor Bay
RUNNING TIME: 88 Minutes
• Featurette: Blood on the Pines
• Commentary with director Steven Monroe and star Cerina Vincent
Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever) really, really needs to stay out of the woods.
Cerina Vincent, Dominic Zamprogna, Greg Kean, Eric Schweig, Samaya Jardey, Miranda Frigon.
A photo from Michael Hutchence’s camping trip…
A group of Indian Studies students unwittingly release an ancient Indian demon when they blast open a cave. The demon (we’ll call it It, cause, well, that’s Its name) uses them for appetizers and then sets out to pretty much eviscerate anything violating its turf. Cut to two months later and forest ranger Danielle St. Claire (Vincent) is alone in her watch tower in the forest, trying to drink away her guilt over causing the death of her friend, Julie, in a drunk driving accident. Her only company is Hoppy, a parrot. When Dani’s boyfriend and fellow ranger, Justin (Zamprogna), arrives, It sets out on a new kill spree. The thing about It is that It likes to play with Its victims before turning them into 3-D Rorschach tests. It takes out all communications and means of escape, stranding Dani and Justin on the mountain, along with a couple of hikers. From there it’s pretty much standard search and destroy for It, with a plenty of fun and games along the way, including digging up some victims and playing house with them. It’s up to Dani to survive long enough to figure a way to stop It, and also come to terms with her own personal demons.
Must stay out of woods…
Must stay out of woods…
Must stay out of woods…
This is a surprisingly solid little horror flick. Well directed, plenty of creepy mood established, and a better-than-average monster. Granted, when you see It, you’re going to immediately think The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers, because It looks very much like it (not It, but the Creeper). It doesn’t have the Creeper’s personality per se, but It does like to screw with people and that gives It points for originality. Vincent has to carry much of the picture and she does it admirably, and thankfully does it mostly in a skimpy wifebeater. The luscious Vincent is my new dark horse candidate for Wonder Woman by the way. If you’ve seen her in Cabin Fever, you know she could more than fill out the costume.
"Uh look, I know this is kind of awkward, you know, me about to gut you like a pig and wear your intestines for a necklace and all, but honestly: What was up with getting eaten by a dog in Cabin Fever? I mean honestly…"
Anyway, director Steven Monroe also does an admirable job of keeping the story moving along, despite a few lapses in logic, one of which leads to the predictable death of one of the main characters. He smartly keeps It backlit for most of the picture and doesn’t go for cheap startles that the movie could easily have fallen into. The kills are pretty standard though and the scares not quite that scary. The backstory of It also is kind of vomited up by a throwaway character also, but that’s pretty forgivable all things considered. It does screw around too much with Dani when it should be wearing her breasts for earrings, and it has a prime opportunity to take her out, but lets her go for reasons that aren’t established well enough. As for It itself, thankfully, this is a maninsuit feature and the creature F/X are serviceable, with very little creature CGI that isn’t quite.
The location (Canadian wilderness) is great and sets up a nice milieu for the confrontation between Dani and It. The parrot used also is a nice touch without becoming a distraction. And getting back to Jeepers Creepers, there are a couple of moments that were scammed straight from that film in this one, most notably using It for a speed bump. But overall, It Waits (definitely needed a better title by the way, like or It Likes To Fuck With You Before Tearing You A New One or It’s After Really Hot Chick With Monster Cans In the Woods comes to mind) is a solid offering in the genre and a sequel is definitely possible without being obviously set up that way like many entries in the genre are. Another Indian-legend-goes-O.J. movie that I reviewed, Skeleton Man, comes to mind as a comparison, and this movie is light years better than that pile. Again, It Waits is a solid offering.
Prop courtesy of the Taliban…
The packaging is unusual in that it has a slip cover with It giving face, with a generic, eerie forestscape on the insert. The movie is ably shot by Monroe and looks good, and the audio is fine also, being offered in Dolby 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Surround. There’s a decent 20-minute making-of with talking head features and behind-the-scenes with Producer Stephen J. Cannel, Monroe and Vincent (wearing yet another wifebeater that says “They’re Real and They’re Spectacular.” I’d have to say I wholeheartedly agree…). There’s also creature FX an interview with the maninsuit, Austin Jordon. There’s also a pretty standard commentary from Monroe and Vincent as well as a trailer.
They are real, they are spectacular, and I are needing a tissue right about now…