Through the Woods

“Through the Woods” is about to go ’round the film festival circuit in 2010. It is an independent production which was shot in MA. 

Jeremy Fiske (who also wrote and produced) play Jon, an oddball type of character who wishes he was a bit more secure. About everything. His life. His girl. His job. And when he hears of a hunting accident that happened near his house, he soon begins conjuring up thoughts of foul play and murder. And then becomes insecure about his neighbors.

“Through The Woods” is a slow burn and one that builds towards revelation, discovery, and reconsideration. It is as such that a typical synopsis will not due to the film justice. You either haven’t said enough, of you’ve said too much already. It is all mood, and it is a film that won’t quite leave you warm and fuzzy. Which is of course, just as it makers want.

As directed by Lee Carlo, “Through The Woods”  is all character study. There is nothing flashy or overly stylized in his direction. It is tried and true basic filmmaking.

Sure, there are portions of the picture that tend to drag a bit. That might be part of the gamble. Carlo and Fiske want you to enter their world and all its uncertanties. They alot you the time to do that. With that price tag (a brave price for any indie filmmaker to pay) comes the occasional extra fat. But it also gives you plenty of time to live with Jon, and learn how he thinks, and, unfortunatley, the actions that result from that process.

If there is to be criticism of the film, it would be in certain plot points that I won’t reveal as they would then be spoilers. But one can suppose that “Through The Woods” isn’t intended to play in a typical reality anyway. It is tragi-comic . At times overly dark and at times a wee bit surreal. There are moments when I am not sure how seriously to take these characters.

Jeremy Fiske as Jon plays up the oddness well. If Fiske is to be faulted, it might be in the writing of the character; certainly not in his performance. I don’t feel like we are given enough to totally understand the character. And insomuch as that is integral, that is unfortunate. But on a minute-by-minute account as performed by Fiske, Jon becomes a sometimes-ticking, sometimes unwound timebomb. He is the kid you might not have looked out for in class; but should have.

There is an old couple in the film as well…and the better half of that couple brings in perhaps the films best performance. She is given some difficult lines and notions to pull off. But I believed every moment.

The ending of the film ties it all up together with a whollop. Is it a hunting accident? Is there foul play? Is Jon becoming unhinged? Who is this old couple? And when the end credits start to roll, I felt, like most everybody else in the picture, it might be best not to go messing around through the woods.

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