TIMBER FALLS is an overall decent City Folk Shouldn’t Go Hiking flick with the potential to have been better were it not bookended by arguably the most over exposed horror set-up there is. An attractive couple chipper enough to take a weekend long hike in the hills of West Virginia are ultimately kidnapped by a fugly hillbilly, only to have the wife escape and run into a park ranger, who is of course kin to the fuglerton. Thus the cycle of torture and imprisonment begins again.
The problem inherent to a plot like this is not that it has been done to death, rather that the filmmakers think their audience must be complete fucking morons. I’m not sure who Daniel Kay thought he was writing this movie for or who Tony Giglio thought he was making this movie for, but the obvious answer should have been you and I and not Them. We’ve seen every backwoods battle flick under the sun, which is why we will see another Straight-to-DVD one. They, whoever they are, have not and are not about to start with the no names attached TIMBER FALLS. That being the case, for the love of all that is Chainsaw, do not wait 20 minutes into the movie to sock us with your limp plot twist that the wood folk our city heroes bumped into are also all in on the plot. We saw that coming 30 minutes ago.
That major annoyance aside, should one have the patience to sit through 20 odd minutes of regurgitated foundation (albeit with improved landscaping), the middle portion of TIMBER FALLS reveals a few interesting wares others of its ilk lack. The family has a twinge more unhinged agenda than the standard, “We’re inbreds so we need your genetically unpolluted womb(s)” plot. Oh, they still want to make a baby, but they want Mike and Sheryl to do the copulating after bestowing upon them God’s marital blessings in a bizarre underground wedding ceremony. Secondly, the star of the show is not the damsel Sheryl (Brianna Brown) rather the man of the hour Mike (Josh Randall). All too often it is the final girl show as far as these outings are concerned. It is a relief to see a script that offers up a man who is not dispatched in the initial chase, is realistically enraged after discovering his girlfriend has gone missing, and that actually brought a gun on their weekend excursion. Naturally, Sheryl makes him throw away the bullets within the first 20 minutes, but at least Mike isn’t a pussy, right?
The head of the family is played by Nick Searcy, who pulls off the the patriarch of the religious nutballs well enough, but it is Beth Broderick who deserves the talking points along side Josh Randall. Yes, she who played Zelda on “SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH” is a psychotic hill woman with a rocky womb hell bent on raising a healthy baby born in wedlock. Kudos, casting department, wouldn’t have called that one myself. Despite a filmography that lists a few low budget horror flicks and a pretty face, Brianna Brown never nails down all that encompasses being a scream queen, but that’s okay because Josh Randall (over?) compensates with his fuck ‘em all attitude and ridiculously jacked upper torso.
The film is about 15 minutes too long, which is odd considering the editor on task has no experience with transitions. One shot Mike and Sheryl are walking up a crowded trail, the next they’re laying in a bed of moss and Sheryl’s bra is almost off. I’m curious to know if the in between just never went in front of the camera or if it was cut for adding to the already bloated length.
Things are kept relatively lively, though, thanks to two moonshine brewing mountain men and a few park rangers not involved in the baby swindling plot. All of the threads converge in an unexpected blood bath, which is a nice distraction considering the rest of the movie is nothing revolutionary.
Tags: TIMBER FALLS