It’s hard not to compare A Night in the Woods to The Blair Witch Project. After all, the bare bones of the two films are essentially the same. Three hapless 20-somethings decide to go camping in the woods, only to find themselves terrorised when darkness falls. But it’s the relationship dynamic here that really helps to put a fresh spin on a well-worn story.
McNairy plays handsome American chap Brody, who convinces girlfriend Kerry (Skellern) to leave the rat race behind for a couple of days and go camping with him in the wilds of Dartmoor. Much to Brody’s chagrin, Kerry decides to invite her cousin Leo (Hawley) along to play third wheel.
It’s a third of the way through the film until something outright scary happens, but you can’t help but be intrigued as you watch the strange and slightly incestuous love triangle play out between the characters. There is a palpable tension between Leo and Brody from the off, although it isn’t made clear why until much later. When the scares do eventually come there ‘s nerve-shredding scenes a-plenty and all the familiar tropes of the found footage horror are there – night vision on the camera always proves creepy.
So ultimately if you’re looking for originality then this probably isn’t the film for you. However, good performances – particularly from the charismatic McNairy –the atmospheric setting of the moors and some decent scares make this film worth a watch.