Hey gang, Valkor here. The next film up on the TOV MediaView chopping block, Rootwood, comes to us from the production company that did “Ultimate Justice”, which ranks as one of my favorite action films. But can that same company score another TOV victory with a horror film? Let's find out! Also, major spoilers ahead.
Rootwood centers on a two of friends Jessica (Elissa Dowling) and Will (Tyler Gallant), who also host a paranormal podcast and were given the task of filming a documentary about this curse of the “Wooden Devil”. They bring along their friend Erin (Sarah French), an RV, and a ton of filming equipment. No sooner do they arrive, is when things not only start to go bump in the night, but they find strange markers during the day such as a metal tower with the names of past victims drawn on it with blood. Towards the end of the film, Will and Erin meet a fatal end by whatever haunts the forest, leaving Jess behind as the last woman standing. However, we learn the entire thing was a setup by the film's benefactors to produce a realistic horror film, which includes someone dressed as the wooden devil creature. But soon after filming is finished is when the REAL wooden devil shows up and no one, and I mean no one, will survive this horrible night.
That's right, three people enter but everybody ends up dying in Rootwood. Watching the film, it sort of reminds me of “Grave Encounters”, as it has something of a “found footage” feel to it mixed with a narrative. However, I wasn't a fan of GE or its sequel. So, how does Rootwood compare? Let's find out in the TOV Breakdown!
Rootwood shows that with the right amount of talent (cast and crew combined), you end up with a decent piece of entertainment. The film has a solid story, though I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of the ending (more on that later). But up until that point I was along for the ride. The film itself does a fine job of mixing the “found footage” genre, with a decent narrative, tossing in the right amount of build up to keep things creepy until that anti-climatic, over the top finish. There aren't too many scares or much gore throughout, but the creepy vibe carries throughout the film that makes things a little unnerving. Visually, the film looks amazing! And kudos for the stunning drone footage! I didn't expect such quality going in, but I was indeed impressed. The acting was just so-so as I neither hated or loved it. But still a job well the done. In the end, Rootwood is a pretty suitable horror film that serious fans will enjoy.
Now, let's talk about that ending. Actually, events leading up towards the end lead me to believe that the players behind the production of the documentary were either involved with the missing people/killing of the podcasters, or EVERYONE was in on it and the whole thing was just a performance piece - I literally expected someone to jump out and yell “cut”. Unfortunately for me, I was right the first time. And it just didn't do it for me – even though the monster turned out to be real, I still wasn't sold on it. I'd rather the monster not be real and the film ends with the bad guys winning.
Rootwood doesn't have a wide release date as of yet, but when it does I'll be sure to update this article with the new info. Until then, if you're looking for a pretty decent horror, with a solid story that's beautifully shot then you might want to take this one for a spin when it becomes available. Personally, I could probably go another round. But as it stands, out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Rootwood a 2.5.