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The Backwoods

Director: Koldo Serra

Spain-U.K-France| 2006. Subtitled. Dolby Digital Stereo. 98 min


English couple Norman (Paddy Considine) and Lucy (French actress Virginie Ledoyen) travel to Spain’s Basque Country to stay at the isolated country house that their friend Paul (Gary Oldman) and his wife Isabel (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon) have renovated. When a stranger enters a bar in this part of the world, it is custom for the locals to stop talking and look up especially when the stranger is Ledoyen in a damp shirt. On a hunting trip in the woods, the two men find a young girl abandoned and looking distinctly feral. They return with her to the house, where they are visited by a bunch of angry locals. The ensuing onslaught of violence recalls the likes of Straw Dogs and Deliverance as the film depicts the group’s desperate attempt to get the young girl to the nearest village. This stylish feature debut by young Basque director Koldo Serra borrows from the conventions of American genre cinema and boasts some splendid cinematography of stunning locations. Oldman, who speaks good Spanish, gives a characteristically committed performance.

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