Director: David Briggs
Cast: Marie-Josee Dionne, France Huot, Jayson Stewart
Production Company: Distant Field Productions
Runtime: 86 minutes
Black Forest (2013) is a survival horror film shot around Elliot Lake in northern Ontario. Many of the cast and crew were from nearby Sudbury, Ontario. David Briggs wrote and directed the movie, and is also known for Sleepwalking (2015) and Blood Night (2016).
In the movie, Bree (Marie-Josee Dionne) and Jess (France Huot) take a canoe trip in a provincial park. They soon attract the attention of Isaac (Jayson Stewart), an imposing man with twisted ideas about the world’s future. The women are forced to flee, but will they survive the terrors of Black Forest?
I love that this movie expertly avoids all the usual horror movie tropes. The women have a phone, and it actually works. Even more astounding is that they use that phone to successfully contact the local authorities. Avoiding this one conceit alone made the movie seem more real to me.
These women are clear-headed, and know a suspicious situation when they see one. They often make good decisions, avoiding the possibility of trouble. Black Forest is scary because the characters do all the right things, and still end up in horrible predicaments.
The antagonists in this film are also very believable. They’re frightening, but they’re also very human. It isn’t often that a director will allow you to see a villain in an ordinary situation, like visiting family, or shopping for supplies. It’s frightening to think that these monsters could pass for regular people.
It was great to see Raven Cousins make an appearance in this film as well. Cousins has been in a number of horror films including Dead Rush (2016), Late Night Double Feature (2016), 3 Dead Trick or Treaters (2016), and Hooked (2012).
The music by Dan Bowey was also a notable part of the movie. There’s a montage in the film that helps us understand just how many women have been killed by the antagonists over the years. The music here is circus-like, emphasizing the dark entertainment that the killers must get from their victims.
Black Forest has some favourable similarities to other horror movies that you may have seen. If you liked Wrong Turn (2003), The Blair Witch Project (1999), or I Spit on Your Grave (1978), you’ll probably enjoy this film too. It’s not derivative of these movies, but it is in the same league.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…