featured Film Review

Toronto After Dark Review: ‘Witches in the Woods’

October 16, 2019Ferdosa Abdi

A van full of college students on a weekend ski trip are about to get more than they bargained for. For in Witches in the Woods, friends, lovers, exes and frenemies — not to mention a few unsavory secrets — are trapped together as they all drive towards certain doom.

After their trip hits a literal roadblock, the group makes the foolish mistake of taking a shortcut through the woods. But with their relationship dynamic being as icy as it is from the get-go, the situation becomes even colder — both figuratively and literally — when their van crashes and they are left stranded. In what follows, director Jordan Barker gives viewers exactly what they might expect to see from the "young folks get lost in the woods" horror sub-genre. Very much like the "young folks go to a cabin in the woods" sub-genre, there are the usual, unavoidable tropes. However, Barker plays with those expectations, using the film's actors as his chess pieces.

Despite several missed opportunities to tighten up the pacing, the result still manages to play to its strengths well and will have audiences fully engrossed in what is about to happen, making Witches in the Woods an undeniably fun thrill ride from beginning to end.

Witches in the Woods makes its North American premiere at the 2019 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 30 min.

You May Also Like