Horror Club: Between The Trees
From Barbed Wire Films comes BETWEEN THE TREES, the new suspenseful horror flick that recently hit streaming services. Written by Sam Klarreich and directed by Brad Douglas, the film blends elements of horror, thriller, slasher and comedy to conjure up a sometimes cheesy, sometimes serious, and sometimes brutal story of four men on a retreat in the woods. By the trailer, the film looked to be pretty promising and entertaining at least - and while Between The Trees is nothing groundbreaking, it's far from the bad movie some reviews online make it out to be. The film starts off really strong and as it progresses, it becomes a little strange and bizzare but even after the weird ending, the film still definitely still finishes off stronger than a lot of the other reviews online make it out to be. Between The Trees is a quick, entertaining watch and while it may not be worth your money, it's worth 74 minutes of your free time.
There's some unknown drama going on in Steve (Greg James) and Maggie's (Hannah Barefoot) marriage, as the film kicks off with her apologizing while Steve packs his bags and barely acknowledges her in the room. As it turns out, Steve and his friends Josh (Michael Draper), Mack (Jonny Lee) and Dave (Dan Kyle) are gearing up for a guys trip out into the middle of the woods (which is always a good idea) to do some hunting, drinking, and gambling away from the women. It isn't long after getting settled in that the friends find that their truck has had its tires slashed and the wires cut - a sure sign that they are not wanted in that neck of the woods. The guys decide its us vs. them and decide to hunt down whoever - or whatever - destroyed their vehicle and seek their revenge and while they are on their mission, that is when the trip takes a turn from trouble to fucked. There's an unstoppable evil lurking out in them there woods, but sometimes the true evil is closer than you might think...
One of the things that I loved about Between The Trees is that it seriously took me more than half the movie to figure out if this film was serious or not; it's funny because there's elements of cheap comedy scattered throughout, but it's never enough to make the film feel like an Evil Dead knock off or anything of the sort. So for a good portion of the film, I was left wondering if I was supposed to be taking the film seriously or not, and honestly, that was kinda fun! For those wondering: yes, eventually you'll come to a conclusion about where the film stands in terms of seriousness, don't worry. The story line is definitely enough to pull the viewer in and serious enough to make you care for the characters - and while the acting wasn't exactly top tier Hollywood acting, it doesn't matter because it was enough to make Between The Trees enjoyable. And truth be told, whenever there was a badly acted scenes (which, admittedly, there is), it almost adds to the film in a way you'd have to see the film to appreciate. There's cheesy lines galore scattered throughout the movie which sometimes feel oddly placed and random, but again, it adds to the overall radness of the film. The general story line does end up coming full circle with a relatively predictable twist; however, the sub-story that involves our unspeakable evil out in the woods... yeah, that story line takes you down a path I honestly didn't expect it to. The last twenty or so minutes of Between The Trees is either going to make you hate the movie or love its randomness - and I think ending on this note is what's making so many viewers leave the film with a bad taste in their mouth. But whatever: it does settle some of the story and brings the film to a (admittedly weird) end. It's definitely not the worst ending to an independent horror film I've seen, but do prepare yourself for a bit of a "what the fuck" kind of approach to the closing scene.
Overall, Between The Trees did its job of cheap entertainment, and while it may not have placed its self on one of my top lists of indie horror to come out recently, it definitely deserves a bit more love than it has been getting. The evil in the woods is pretty cool, and while there may not be a ton of gore or even blood, there's at least one scene that will make you give the film a nod. As for the four friends out in the woods: Jesus guys, get it together. Watch the film to find out how messy things get in Between The Trees! The final verdict: wait for it to come to a free streaming service or a promo code for a streaming service; while it's not worth spending more than 99¢ to rent, it's an entertaining watch for a bored night in. Oh, and make sure you watch past the credits for a pretty epic final scene!
Check out the trailer below for Between The Trees, available now on streaming services!