Bosque de sombras (The BackWoods)
This was the official site for the 2006 Spanish thriller, Bosque de sombras (The BackWoods).
Content is from the site's archived pages and other outside sources.
Bosque de sombras
North american Premiere
Spain / England / France
2006 | 98 min | 35mm
In Theaters: Apr 15, 2008 wide
English/Spanish language, English subtitles
The Backwoods Teaser
Summer 1978: an English couple Lucy (Virginie Ledoyen) and Norman (Paddy Considine) are going through a difficult patch in their relationship, and so decide to spend the summer in the house that their friends Paul (Gary Oldman) and his wife Isabel (Aitana Sanchez-Gijón) have bought 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.
The cultural differences with the locals lead by Paco (Lluis Homar) and an accidental discovery in an abandoned house in the middle of the forest will start a strong whirpool of violence between them.
Bosque de sombras
by Mitch Davis
“There are hunters and prey. That’s the only truth in this world.” In a last-ditch effort to rescue their dying relationship, Lucy (Virginie Ledoyen) and Norman (Paddy Considine) go on a trip to the Basque mountains of Spain, spurred by their friends Paul (Gary Oldman) and Isabel (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón)’s recent purchase of a country house there. The two couples drive out together, and it doesn’t take long before nerves begin to grate. Paul is intense, Norman is plainly insecure, Lucy is frequently ill and Isabel just wants to relax. When they step into a pub and are greeted by townspeople lustfully staring Lucy down, Norman all but loses it, making a poor first impression on the locals. A worse and infinitely more dangerous impression is soon made when the couples discover an abused-looking and physically deformed young girl locked inside a cabin, trembling, terrified and unable to speak. They bring her back to Paul’s country house and try to figure out their options, incurring the wrath of armed locals who will take the girl back at any cost.
A gripping white-knuckle thriller set in the 1970s, THE BACKWOODS takes a caustic look at the carnage that can come out of cultural misunderstandings, supercharged with intensity and grit. While it takes inspiration from the likes of STRAW DOGS and DELIVERANCE, and is very much a love letter to the edgy thrillers of the ’70s, THE BACKWOODSbreaks out from homage by re-working the core themes it references from earlier films into something distressingly pertinent to our times, while functioning as a searing discourse on the ideals of masculinity and the desperations of violence. It is a striking-as-all-hell debut for writer/director Koldo Serra, a lifelong film maniac who has clearly been influenced by people like Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah and Nicolas Roeg. He directs with a confidence and control that is astounding. In recent years, many films have tried to capture the feel of confrontational ’70s classics, but THE BACKWOODS takes the sand-blasted cake, its cinematography (by Unax Mendia, who also shot Eugenio Mira’s THE BIRTHDAY), editing and blocking, all stunning, appearing as if through a time warp. Have a look at the trailer online and you will get shivers. Were it not for its contemporary stars, one could easily mistake this film for a lost gem from that era. Speaking of its cast, it is impossible to discuss THE BACKWOODS without mentioning Gary Oldman, who openly relishes his role and gives one of his strongest performances in years. A powerhouse of blood, sweat and tears.
“A psychological allegory of unexpected depth. It is as though all the moral ambiguity and mean-spiritedness of 1970s cinema had never died.” – Anton Bitel, EYE FOR FILM
“Primo directing, acting, cinematography, tension and violence. I was never bored, that’s for sure” – John Fallon, ARROW IN THE HEAD
“A terrific movie. This Spanish chiller really feels like a cult classic from the good old days.” – Anthrofred, SLASHERPOOL
TOMATOMETER Critics 67% | Audience 27%
***½ Ty H
June 10, 2008
pretty tense, tightly wound film.
four tourists stumble upon a locked up, disfigured, and seemingly neglected child in an old cabin. they take her intending to deliver her to authorities, but the locals are quite adamant about her staying. the dilemma is that they seem lovingly protective of her. who's right and who's wrong?
it's a different take on the standard isolation horror/thriller genre. and not too bad.
** Nathan N
June 9, 2008
As a stand-alone film, this would probably get 3 stars. However, Deliverance and Straw Dogs where made nearly 40 years prior to this. This film is useless and shouldnt have been made. The exact same thing has been done twice as well. This is not a bad film but a meager substitute for two great ones.
** 6 6 6
June 8, 2008
As much as I love Gary Oldman I can't begin to bring myself to like this film. The script absolutely does not adapt well to screen, and the characters were not very likable I found the women to be particularly air-headed and annoying.
**** Nando C
June 5, 2008
This is a very good film were the viewer gets to apreciate the talent of Gary Oldman as an actor...The story...its great and leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but maybee thats the trip of it...I personally enjoyed it a lot.
** Ray S
June 4, 2008
Started off great (you know it will be with Gary Oldman), but the story just didn't finish...???
**½ Ola G
June 4, 2008
One can see inspiration from both "Deliverance" and "Straw Dogs" in this feature. The fact of being an alien entity in a different environment and setting, and the consequences of this fact.
"The Backwoods" puts two couples in the spanish wilderness for a vacation, that eventually transforms into something completely different. Gary Oldman and Paddy Considine are the male leads and as always Oldman is strong in his performance. Considine is a lightweight next to Oldman.The movie starts of in an intriguing way, but becomes more and more floaty and not very emotional or scary for that matters, the longer the film runs. The template carries as well way too many cliches if you ask me.
The story is a light weighted one, the acting is not completely on spot and "The Backwoods" end in a very abrupt and a not very satisfying way. I reckon the one thing I liked the most with this movie, was the use of the Leonard Cohen song "There Is A War". Great song.
Nah, this movie will be forgotten as soon as my fingers stop typing here..
well meet again
**** scott g Super Reviewer
June 4, 2008
a good teaming of two great english actors, gary oldman, and paddy considine, as two guys with there wives/girl friends off to see oldmans cabin in the woods in rural spain, and get in a spot of bother when they discover something, and the local men, dont like it, and pay them a visit, its not hard to see what film this is inspired by, straw dogs starring dustin hoffman, both films are a foreigner in another county, both about, locals doing things there own way, and, a women being part problem, and violence and revenge in mind, it is slickly directed, with a nifty opening, bringing us in, it doesent hang around in getting set up started, and with the two leads , a great watch, some interesting situations coming into play, great to see oldman back, apart from when hes helping batman out of course
***½ Rob T
June 2, 2008
Decent nutty natives getting up to all sorts of nuttiness especially when the English 'tourists' arrive and mess their shit up type film.
Interesting twist on the usual formula in that other than the attempted rape the visitors are largely the antagonists - ultimately though there's not a lot to the film but it's well acted and consistently enjoyable.
*** Michael L
June 2, 2008
Gary Oldman's performance was great. However the more and more i thought about the move the more i did not like it. for as cool as it was, it was equally sucky. Disappointing ending.
** Gret D
June 1, 2008
Didn't care for this movie. Gary Oldman was riveting as usual but the movie and rest of cast were weak. The story line was good but the script... not so good. Gary speaks Spanish in this movie tho and that in it's self is reason enough to watch it.
*** Michael G
May 29, 2008
Believable thriller about misunderstanding and isolation. Nice to see this film do "evil yokels" in the countryside so different from the all the U.S teen gore horror films out there when essentially its the same plot(ish) Like Gary O using his real accent too!
*** Mark F
May 29, 2008
curiosity kills the cat
*** ½ Private U
May 28, 2008
Well-paced, suspenseful, and greatly disturbing at times, THE BACKWOODS is one of the best DELIVERANCE/STRAW DOGS films to come along in a long time. I do think some of the acting was overdone and at times unbelievable (like the ending), but still good nevertheless. If you're in the mood for a new, thrilling little indie film, look no farther, because THE BACKWOODS is the film for you.
*** Craig W
May 27, 2008
Not a bad attempt, Straw Dogs is a far better film of this calibre, Gary Oldman was brilliant but i feel it could have been a little more brutal.
*** Darren K
May 27, 2008
its got a "straw dogs" feel 2 it,not bad at all
*** Brendan O
May 25, 2008
In Vain of Straw Dogs. Despite starring Gary Oldman and a few, brief moments of good directing and acting, this was quite grueling and doesn't come together as a movie. However the premise for The Backwoods is an intriguing one, The idea of how quickly basic human instincts make situations spiral out of control, this concept opens up a myriad of opportunities to shock, fascinate and expand these ideas and notions but falls short of that. Overall, it worth a look, despite being ultimately forgettable.