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A Stranger in the Woods

Hungary 2024
produced by
József Gallai, Roxanne Rix, Tracy Allen, Beáta Boldog, Gergö Elekes, Roy McClurg jr (exeuctive) for McClurg Productions, Nguyen Bros. Production, Elekes Pictures, Rix Cafe Texican, Lentsch Productions
directed by József Gallai
starring Bill Oberst jr, Laura Ellen Wilson, Lynn Lowry, Shawn Michael Clankie, József Gallai, Scott Cassin, and the voices of Marvin Maddicks jr, Fountainblue Tielman, Tracy Allen
story by Beáta Boldog, József Gallai, screenplay by József Gallai, special makeup effects by Kamilla Mira Kovács

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Film stucent Edith (Laura Ellen Wilson) gets an assignment from her tutor (Shawn Michael Clankie) to make a documentary about Victor (Bill Oberst jr), a somewhat eccentric hermit who has been living in a cabin in the woods for more than two decades. Edith has no idea what to expect, but when she first meets Victor, she's actually pleasantly surprised, as while he might be socially awkward, he's also perfectly well-mannered and forthcoming, and tries his best to make her feel at home. Plus, in the interviews they do, he really opens up to her, and even makes her open up to him in return. Sure, he throws a fit when she cooks for him and the food is not to his liking, but he later apologizes and makes up for it. Also he figures there's someone out in the woods secretly watching the house, but after a few days she starts to share his feeling, even tries to track down whoever it is, albeit unsuccessfully. Then though one night, Edith catches Victor outside, wearing nothing but his underpants, covered in the blood - something that freaks her out so much that she wants to leave immediately. Victor persuades her to stay though, but now she knows there's a deeper and darker secret to him than she could have imagined, and she's determined to find it out. But the more she does find out, the more freaked out she gets - but nothing could prepare her for what fate has in store for her ...

Horror legend Lynn Lowry plays Edith's grandmother, whom she time and again (video-) calls for advice and research.

 

A Stranger in the Woods is shot using the found footage approach, which I have to admit is not my favourite style of filmmaking - but that said, director József Gallai is a capable and experienced enough filmmaker to still get in some very good, interesting and moody shots, integrates the approach into the story rather flawlessly, and creates suspense scenes and jump scares the (in the best meaning of the word) old-fashioned way for a rounded out cinematic experience while telling a well-structured story with quite some heart. And of course, fittingly atmospheric locations and a very solid ensemble cast with Bill Oberst jr at both his creepy and relatable best help make this a pretty cool horror ride.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

Amazon

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Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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