Whilst dealing with marital issues, Steve (Greg James) invites his three closest friends for a weekend away but they soon realise that something is watching them from Between the Trees.
Indie horror is at an all-time high with new upcoming directors trying something new and fresh without the boundaries of a big studio cutting off all avenues of creativity. However, in the case of Between the Trees, some experience in screenwriting would have definitely helped it from being a lazy, uninspiring slog. Directed by Brad Douglas, the film relies too heavily on ‘relatable’ friend dynamics and edgy dialogue whilst also being incredibly unthreatening and devoid of any real tension or cohesion, rather than developing its characters in amongst the monstrous threat that is lurking in the shadows.
The entire script lacks any real direction and in some cases tries to shoehorn in comedic elements to sugar-coat the ‘lads’ chemistry (which there is none of). As for our four main characters, it is hard to see in any capacity that these men would be friends. Each of them is a painful stereotype; most noticeably, the nerd character who wears glasses, mentions that he plays video games and is displayed as a goody-two-shoes - is especially excruciating to sit through. On top of that, the performances are some of the most wooden I have witnessed in recent memory which never allows the characters to become more than one dimensional.
Speaking of hard work, even at just 73 minutes runtime (including the credits), the film drags on for way too long. When one thought the film had reached it lacklustre conclusion, one was greeted with another 10 minutes or so of a tacked on and redundant feeling ending that was blatantly executed in order to reach the minimum require time to be classed as a feature film.
To its only redeeming credit, the film is well shot. Douglas proves that he is a competent director with every shot being well lit and consistently framed which at least makes the film watchable in that aspect.
Between the Trees is a tonally messy and misguided cabin based horror film that suffers greatly with an inexperienced screenwriter and wooden performances meaning it never manages to keep the audience's attention even though it has an incredibly short runtime.
BETWEEN THE TREES / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: BRAD DOUGLAS / SCREENPLAY: SAM KLARREICH / STARRING: GREG JAMES, MICHAEL DRAPER, JONNY LEE, DAN KYLE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW