Directed by: David Campion
Written by: David Campion
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Stereo-typical behavior and racism are not always limited to the color of a person's skin. The sad truth is that us human-folk are emotional and often mean spirited. Being different "physically" doesn't hold the exclusive rights, when determining who is the outcast and who isn't. In reality, no real excuse is needed and being an outsider is as good a reason as any. What can start as a semi-joking jab at a person slowly morphs into a common long running joke. Getting more personal and meaner as it climbs the ladder of a person's mind. Finally, that random and maybe even funny joke turns hateful and spreads like a virus. Infecting person after person, making life for the brunt of the joke that much more difficult or dangerous. How does "Woodfalls" tie into this? All that is written above could easily be the back story for this film. To a large extent, it is. Gypsies. Outsiders invading a small town and bringing their filthy ways with them. The beating heart of this story from writer David Campion. Split into segments, that finally bring everything together, we the viewers witness the brutality of human nature and what it takes to give into the pressure and live in such a situation. Welcome to Woodfalls.
This may not be the perfect movie. Largely hand held shots attempting to showcase grit and realism, as the story itself flirts with vulgarism and violence. No. This isn't a "perfect" film... but damn, it's an entertaining one. There is something mesmerizing about the way it presented. The no bull-shit approach to telling a tough story. Then, you have the immediate and extended cast to factor in; who quite naturally seem to fit into their roles creating a kind of reality television vibe. Only more graphic. I could go on and on about certain elements of this film I didn't like. The awkward and slightly confusing way it's edited together, or the above mentioned use of the annoying hand-held camera style. But one simple fact remains. I watched it. All of it. That is a definite "plus" on any scale.
In today's world of fast videos and quick fixes, watching any film that's independent and low budget is a "huge" deal. The fact that "Woodfalls" is all of that, low and indie, and it's a "feature" length film to boot, instantly weighs the scales in favor of pressing that "back" or "stop" button. David Campion however, has proven that something special exists within this title... simply because I managed to watch the entire movie "without" that desire to cut and run. That alone proves "Woodfalls" is a cut above many other indie titles. Sure. I may be able to bitch and moan about aspects of the movie when it's all over and the credits are rolling. But you need to realize that it was only "afterwards" that I did-so. Meaning the film was good enough to watch until the very end. High praises from me. This isn't something that happens every day. Can I explain the exact reasons why that "something" exists? No. I can chalk it up to the excellent acting or the "more than usual" graphic nature of this indie film... but in the end, there's just something a little more to it. Something that makes this title interesting and entertaining. Movie magic. What so many others always attempt to achieve, "Woodfalls" has in spades.
It all comes down to this: You may not like everything you see here, but you'll be entertained by it. In this respect "Woodfalls" is miles ahead of so many other independent, low budget titles. That implied representation of human nature, just below the full on plot elements, will have you thinking and wondering if people are truly "that" brutal. Almost as if these thoughts were a companion piece to this film. All of this fuses together and once you hit that fifteen minute mark... you're hooked. When it's over, you may not totally like what you've seen, but you'll find yourself strangely satisfied by it. The goal of any film is to entertain and keep you watching. In this respect, "Woodfalls" hits the nail square and drives it home. Entertainment comes in all forms and I was more than glad the cast and crew of this film realized that... and delivered it.