Stranger in the Woods (2024)


Stranger in the Woods Review

Edith (Laura Ellen Wilson) is a student who must complete a senior project. She has to interview someone with an interesting life. Her teacher gives her the location of Victor Browning (Bill Oberest Jr.), a man who lives alone in seclusion in the woods with a lake by his house. She gets to his house and he’s not at all who she imagined him to be. He’s quite a strange and eccentric man.

The writer/director uses some unique tools and styles to tell this story, as I said before. One of them being night vision when the main character is stumbling around at night looking for the stranger she saw standing outside the house. Another style is phone calls or video calls to get information across to viewers. The best one of all in my opinion that I thought was genius was a police dispatch call with the dispatcher and different police officers.

When I think about A Stranger In the Woods films like The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Skinamarink come to mind. It has those vibes from those movies that were groundbreaking. The budget had to be pretty low so with that has to come creativity behind and in front of the camera. Gallai used unknowns for his cast and that didn’t take away from the styles he used in his filmmaking. That was good.

A documentary style of filmmaking is added into it towards the end which brings it all together for me personally with this movie but also sets up more questions than answers when we learn more about these characters than we have up until this point in time within our viewing experience so far through out watching this film as an audience member myself also too though just saying overall because let’s face it there are only two people talking right now anyway so back on topic again shall we? Anyway where was I going? Oh right I’m not giving anything away but everything you need to know  is in front of you.

It’s a classic creature of the night story hidden in an experimental docudrama style.

Shauli Bar-On, the creator of “A Stranger in the Woods”, utilized different styles to construct a haunting narrative. Some of these include: video chat conversations, a phone call with a police dispatcher, and night vision. These elements combined to create an intriguing experimental film. The cast largely consisting of unknowns to American audiences served its purpose by establishing an atmosphere that was both unsettling and mysterious. It’s difficult not to appreciate what Gallai achieved here given all he went through while making this movie; overall, he did well with what he had. I just hope people like it as much as me!

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