The Woods (2006 film)

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The Woods
TheWoodsPoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lucky McKee
Produced by Bryan Furst
Sean Furst
Marco Mehlitz
Michael Ohoven
Randy Ostrow
Elliot Lewis Rosenblatt
Written by David Ross
Starring Agnes Bruckner
Patricia Clarkson
Bruce Campbell
Lauren Birkell
Rachel Nichols
Music by John Frizzell
Jaye Barnes Luckett (uncredited)
Edited by Dan Lebental
Joel Plotch
Production
company
United Artists
Cinegreen
Cinerenta
Furst Films
SLS Video Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates 24 April 2006 (Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival)
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million (estimated)[1]

The Woods is a 2006 American supernatural horror film directed by Lucky McKee and starring Agnes Bruckner, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel Nichols, Lauren Birkell and Bruce Campbell. Set in 1965, the plot centers on a wayward teenage girl who is sent to a New England all-girls private high school which holds an ominous secret related to the staff, history and woods surrounding the school.

Plot[edit]

In 1965, after provoking a fire in a forest, rebel teenager Heather Fasulo (Agnes Bruckner) is sent to the boarding school Falburn Academy in the middle of the woods by her estranged mother Alice Fasulo (Emma Campbell) and neglected father Joe Fasulo (Bruce Campbell). The dean Ms. Traverse (Patricia Clarkson) accepts Heather in spite of her father's bad financial condition. The displaced Heather becomes close friends with Marcy Turner (Lauren Birkell), while they are maltreated by their abusive mate Samantha Wise (Rachel Nichols). During the night, Heather has a nightmare of a student named Ann, covered in blood, and hears voices that seem to be coming from the woods. The next day, Marcy tells Heather that Ann was taken to a mental institution after attempting to commit suicide, and that she'd been covered in blood.

With the help of Marcy, Heather eventually learns to adjust to her new school, even having fun at times and making more friends. Ms. Traverse subjects Heather to special tests to see if she is "gifted," telling her that it is all part of her scholarship to the academy. The girls tell Heather a spooky story about the history of Falburn, which includes three young redheaded sisters who arrived at the school and turned out to be witches, killing the headmistress before leaving to the woods. Meanwhile, Samantha continues to torment Heather, who comes to despise her and fights back. Ann returns from the mental institution, and Heather finds her one day, rocking in her bed. Ann reveals that she is afraid she will be taken by the witches. A low fog rushes into the room and knocks Heather down, twisting her ankle, and she is taken to the infirmary. The next day, Heather finds Ann's bed empty, her place filled with dead leaves. She witnesses the headmistress lying to the police about Ann's disappearance, remarking that she is taken care of.

This leads her to become suspicious and she tries to talk to Marcy about it. But Marcy acts strangely, and is shadowed by one of the teachers. Soon after, Heather finds Marcy's bed empty and covered in leaves. Later, she is confronted in the woods by Samantha, who reveals that she has actually been trying to protect Heather with her antics. She tells Heather that the school is led by a coven of witches who want to take all of the girls away. Samantha explains that she has called Heather's father to help her escape and that the milk is poisoned. The girls are both caught by a school mistress, who promptly takes Samantha away. Heather later finds Samantha's limp body hanging from a long noose. When a police officer comes to investigate, Heather tells him of the missing students. The office confronts the headmistress, but she claims that the girls ran away. The other mistresses "leads" the officer into the woods to find the girls, where he is killed by the living vines of a tree.

Heather's parents show up to take her home, though the headmistress tries to persuade them otherwise. On the way home, their car is mysteriously flipped. Heather is knocked unconscious while Alice is killed by a living vine. Heather and Joe wake up in a nearby hospital. Before they can reach each other, Ms. Traverse has Heather dragged away, then slits her own hand and forces her black blood down Joe's throat, which puts him into a catatonic state. Heather returns to the school in despair. She drinks the milk that evening, then sneaks off and vomits it back up in the bathroom, finding tree bark in it. Joe also vomits up Ms. Traverse's black blood, which too has tree bark in it. He quickly escapes and goes to find Heather. That night, Heather begins to hear voices again, and when she attempts to leave, a living vine captures her.

When she awakens, she is wrapped in vines in a large foggy room, next to Ann and Marcy, who are also held captive. All of the teachers appear and reveal themselves to be witches. Ms. Traverse is their leader and she explains that their spirits have been trapped in the woods all these years, and they need to inhabit the bodies of young women to escape their imprisonment. Heather appears to be the centerpiece of her plan because she has the strongest powers among the gifted students. Heather is coerced into completing the ritual, and the vines begin to mummify all of the girls in the school. Before it can complete itself, Joe breaks into the room with an ax and begins to kill the witches. Heather breaks free from the vines and grabs the ax, proceeding to chop all of the witches into pieces. Heather and Joe then leave with all of the girls, walking away from the school into the daylight.

The end of the movie states that Falburn Academy burned to the ground in 1965, while the surrounding woods were strangely left untouched.

Cast[edit]

  • Agnes Bruckner as Heather Fasulo
  • Emma Campbell as Alice Fasulo
  • Bruce Campbell as Joe Fasulo
  • Patricia Clarkson as Ms. Traverse
  • Rachel Nichols as Samantha Wise
  • Lauren Birkell as Marcy Turner
  • Kathleen Mackey as Ann Whales
  • Jane Gilchrist as Ms. Cross
  • Catherine Colvey as Ms. Leland
  • Marcia Bennett as Ms. Mackinaw
  • Cary Lawrence as Ms. Charevoix
  • Colleen Williams as Ms. Arbor
  • Gordon Currie as The Sheriff
  • Melissa Altro as Barb (as Missy Altro)
  • Maia Balestriri as Jen (as Maïa Balestrieri)
  • Maggie Castle as Tracy
  • Amber Cull as Mara

Filming locations[edit]

Montreal:[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews for the film were positive. The film received a 67% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]