Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Deep in the Wood - 2015 film review

Deep in the Wood is a short but intriguing Italian film, which I watched in a sub-titled version. It was made last year, and originally titled Il Fondo al Bosco. It's set in a remote Alpine village, and stars Filippo Nigro and Camilla Filippi as a couple whose lives are torn apart following the disappearance of their four year old son Tommi, who gets away from his Dad, who is taking part in a festival where the locals disguise themselves as devils.

We see Tommi wandering into the woods, towards a lonely cabin, but then he goes missing. The father is suspected of doing away with him, but released by the police because of a lack of evidence. His troubled mother attempts suicide, but the couple stay together, very unhappily for five years. And then a boy is found. Could it be Tommi The police say that DNA testing proves that it is.

So far, so good. But the boy's mother doesn't believe her son has really returned, and her father is equally sceptical. Tommi's Dad is overjoyed that his son is back, though the boy remembers nothing about his old life, and nothing is known about what he might have been up to in the meantime. The family dog takes a dislike to the boy, and we start to wonder if there is something devilish afoot.

I was pleased that the twisty storyline resolved itself without resort to the supernatural, avoiding a flaw which I think marred another grim movie, The Reeds. The isolated location is evocatively portrayed, as in The Reeds, but the tale holds together much better. Overall, I thought this was a satisfying film, whose excellent premise was not ruined by an explanation that didn't hang together. The lead actors do a good job, and this is definitely worth a watch.

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