Kids Go to the Woods... Kids Get Dead (2009)
By: Devon B. on August 20, 2012  | 
MVD Visual | All Regions, NTSC | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English PCM 2.0 | 82 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Michael Hall
Starring: Leah Rudick, Andrew Waffenschmidt, Carly Goodspeed, Meghan Miller, Amanda Rising
Screenplay: Michael Hall
Country: USA
External Links
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Michael Hall, writer and director of Kids Go to the Woods. Kids Get Dead, misses the era of taping movies off late night television. You know what I remember about that era? Censored prints and Gilbert Gottfried yelling at me. I can handle Gil's rants, but I never liked cut movies, so once I had access to real versions of movies I never returned to late night tele. Clearly Hall enjoyed the process more than me, so for Kids Go to the Woods. Kids Get Dead he tried to recreate the feel. There's a hostess named Candy Adams, snippets of ads, some jumps when whoever was "recording" the movie forgot to re-start the tape after the commercials, tape fallouts and clips of the home movies that have been recorded over accidentally. I didn't like this gimmick, but I'm sure there are people out there that are nostalgic for the bad old days of VCRs and ad breaks.

The film proper confused me when we're introduced to the main characters, because by no stretch of the imagination are these kids. I started to get worried that these obvious adults weren't the kids of the title, and that these terrible characters weren't going to get killed so I was wasting my time watching them. But then after they started getting killed, I still felt I was wasting my time. Maybe the "kids" in the title is that loose definition that seems to apply to anyone under 60, but I think these characters are supposed to be about 17 and they look way older. There's a bit of talk about the characters needing fake ID to buy booze, but I doubt any of the cast had been carded for years in real life. These just aren't kids, so this should be Adults Go to the Woods. Adults Get Dead.

Aside from age misrepresentation, the title really tells you all that's going to happen. In the film some adults go to a cabin in the woods for an extended party. One of the women has a nerdy hanger-on brother, a Franklin type, who comes along, but is often reading a book with the same title as the film. Similarities begin to crop up between what he's reading and what happens to the partiers, but they don't happen fast enough.

It takes an hour, including Candy and the fake ads and shit, before one of the main cast get murdered, then the killer dispatches most of them in about four minutes. An hour of nothing then everything all at once? There are a few deaths prior to this, but they're mostly recreations of the book the geek is reading and aren't very interesting. There is one "real" guy that gets killed earlier on, but his death was more confusing than anything else, because he stops his van for a guy wearing a gas mask and brandishing a large knife while standing in the middle of the road. I know the idea is to recreate the feel of rubbish late night movies, but even so this was stupid. Anyway, the main cast take ages to start getting knocked off, which makes the film tedious, and I have no idea why the majority of the kills are crammed into such a short amount of screen time - they really should've been spread around a bit.

Given the film's title I wasn't expecting Academy Award winners in the cast, but these thespians were worse than I was anticipating from a no-budget horror movie. The dialogue's meant to be clever but isn't, and post Scream slasher deconstruction makes Adults Go to the Woods. Adults Get Dead overly self-aware. I think the idea was that the viewer would be so amused by the antics of the characters there would be no need for slashing them in the first hour, but most of the jokes in the movie are grating. There're a few little humorous touches that are okay, but when a film's idea of a hilarious practical joke is shaking up a beer can, there's not a lot of originality being displayed.

For those that only care about two things in a slasher, blood and boobs, the film does have a bit of both. Most of the female members of cast have nude scenes, but for straight women or gay men there's not much in the way of titillation except one guy getting down to his boxers. The deaths in the book are described as really gory, but when they start happening in the main story it's mostly just some blood splashed around. There're two slightly more elaborate kills, but other than that the FX aren't very sophisticated.

I like slashers, and didn't even mind the similarly slow to start Final Exam, but Adults Go to the Woods. Adults Get Dead is cheap and boring. I could've worked with cheap, but boring is a hurdle I couldn't leap.
The movie was shot on video, but it doesn't look bad for what it is. There's a bit of trailing and some haze in a few scenes, but it's mostly a clear print.
The audio is an LPCM track, and while it's not amazing, it's probably as good as this movie's going to sound. There's a bit of volume flux and some hums in the background, but I think that's a result of the film having no budget, not a dodgy audio transfer.
Extra Features
The DVD has four short, about five minutes when combined, behind the scenes clips; a gag reel; the trailer; and three deleted scenes. One of the cut scenes is rubbish, one is terribly done but does explain a plot point, and one is actually a series of alternate takes describing murders from the novel that guy's reading.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
I find myself wanting to be generous because I like the idea that Michael Hall was trying to recreate something from his youth, but I also find myself not wanting to be generous because it was an element of my youth I hated and the main movie isn't very good.

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