Some movies not classfied as horror actually are. The Woodsman is one of these . The title apparently stems from the Little Red Riding Hood tale, where the woodsman saves her from the big, bad wolf, but in this movie, they try to convince you the wolf can sometimes redeem himself and turn into the good-guy woodsman- … uh yeaaahhhh.. right.
So-called scary movies often aren’t; they don’t have much effect on me. Fear is subjective. There are everyday fears, the unknown, the past, the future, crime, etc., but then there are the more subtle yet just as frightening kinds of fears. Sometimes being disgusted and repulsed is frightening- Watching this movie gives one a sense of unending , creeping dread, which is infinitely worse than the obligatory solo scream of the evil axe murderer.
Unless of course, the axe-murderer is Freddy Krueger – if one is easily upset or one has personal experience with this, I would not recommend a viewing, as I have never experienced this particular form of abuse- not like portrayed in the movie anyway-but was brought to tears and mild nausea by this film. Bacon is almost too good-too real, and I hope I will not be forevermore creeped out by him in other roles. It’s kind of a hard role to live down, but, at least it’s just acting.
Kevin Bacon stars as a working-class convicted child molester. It is clear that they are trying to make him a sympathetic character, yet I cannot manage to even catch a whiff . Pathos, perhaps. Revulsion, most definitely. Sympathy? No.
Not even when he beats the tar out of a fellow pervert he has been watching stalk the school kids across from his apartment -sorry, the ‘self-hating-reformed-molester-vigilante’ theme just doesn’t work for me. Not when his sister won’t have him around her child after he does 12 years in prison. Not when he is outed at work. Not when his ( a former victim it is implied of abuse) probation officer visits him and is alternately cruel/reveals his own damage and pathos.
I especially don’t feel sorry for him as he follows what looks to be 7th graders through a mall, looking up their skirts on the escalator or when he actually starts to feel bad for a young girl he just asked to sit on his lap in a remote park, because as it turns out, she is already being molested by her own father – what a spew-worthy meme to promote , as if it is common that good old dad has beat the park pervert to it-or the unused version of this scene in which he tells the girl to tell her teacher in the deleted extra scenes on the DVD.
There are scenes in this movie that made me cry, but not for him. A disturbing movie- the theme of Bacon’s character redeeming himself, while battling his own demons of sicko-ness. Kyra Sedgewick plays his tough-chick co-worker with whom he becomes involved. It appears she -a former victim herself, has some kind of co-dependent sympathy/affection for him, the status of her own childhood past is not lost upon the viewer, ‘she is with him and finds/likes him because she is also screwed up’. Oh yuck. Eww. I suppose they are supposed to be mutually pathetic, but I don’t feel bad for her either. Their chemistry sucks and is awkward but perhaps this is intentional.
There can be no moral to the story as it is built upon a false premise, one that is wrong prob 99.9% of the time, that being : Even molesters can redeem themselves. Molesters are people too, and you probably are working or living next to one, just like the White Serial Killer who is one door down from the molester. He’s a perv, yeah, but he’s also just a guy, trying to make it, dealing with BS like the rest of us. Uh-huh. Let’s hear it for John Cougar Kiddiepants, working-class hero, hangin’ out at the mall, following kids. But hey, he has to take out the garbage like the rest of us. That’s great. Dude, you just need to overlook the dudes rollin’ around with kids part. You’re so judgemental. He’s getting better, really. Yep. Uh-huh.
We all know the ‘reformed molester’ deal is so rare that it seems blasphemous to suggest. The other stuff about all the conflicted , angsty characters with their various dysfunctions is all well and good, but it doesn’t take away from the basic lie of the premise, that these guys turn themselves around, grow some kind of a normal conscience organ, and find redemption, forgiveness and yes, even love. Love and redemption, love and forgiveness, all the things that happen in cheesy lifetime movies about adults that like other adults. It just doesn’t go together. That’s like mixing syrup of epicac and pepto-bismol. Do you still not feel good but don’t actually hurl, or do you hurl up the pepto? Either way, you still feel gross.
The director blathering extras on the DVD – I only listened a couple minutes and gave up as it was mostly about tooting their own horn re how ‘edgy’ and what a controversial theme the movie had, and how wonderful everyone was, etc..
this is the producer/director team, Daniels and Kassell. Feel free to leave a blog comment if you see this POS flick.