Who was filming this thing?!
I don’t know where to begin with Skull Forest. It’s a very bad film and looks as if it was made by a bunch of friends who got together and decided to make a movie over the course of a weekend--then post it on YouTube. The camerawork appears to have been done with an iPad or home video camera. Or, if better equipment was used, it was used very badly. I have never seen a film with so many shots that were out of frame, MANY were diagonal, some had heads clipped off the actors and there were entirely too many close-ups—yet these somehow made it past the editing stage! It looks no better than what you or I would do myself...provided we were intoxicated or legally blind. While it did get a little better as the film progressed (mostly, I assumed because whoever was using the camera learned by doing), the beginning especially made me a bit motion sick watching it and folks often looked like they were walking uphill all the time! After reviewing more than 16000 films on IMDB, I can honestly say that this film has the worst camera work of any of the pictures I’ve reviewed. It’s a shame, because the film wasn’t 100% terrible—but the camera was so bad I could see most folks giving up on it very quickly.
The film is a reworking of the classic story The Most Dangerous Game. It was a dandy B-movie from 1932 that starred Joel McCrea and Fay Wray and it was remade many times in both films and on television. Fortunately, the filmmakers DID credit this at the beginning and I appreciated this. The major difference is that instead of one hunter hunting a couple, this film has a group of women out in the woods for a girls weekend—and they walk into the middle of a bunch of psychos playing paintball—but with real weapons!!! That will sure screw up your weekend! There really isn’t a lot of plot beyond that—just contestants in some weirdo ultimate sport killing off early middle-aged women…or, in a few cases, getting killed.
So what was good about this film? Well, it wasn’t the acting--that was uneven. While some was decent, some actors couldn’t really deliver their lines and the director SHOULD have re-shot these scenes. One guy, however, did some really nice martial arts-style stunts near the end. Oddly, the best thing about this film is something which I think is used way too much in movies—the nudity. This is a super-explicit film with lots of nudity—lots. What I appreciated, though, is that these naked looked NORMAL. They were not stick-thin actresses and they looked their age—and didn’t seem hung up on showing their bodies. Considering the message we get from films is impossible to meet in real life (no, guys, women do NOT all look like airbrushed Playboy models), it’s nice to see a film with normal looking women. However, I am also sure a lot of women would be offended, as the only nekkid folks in the film were women! Plus, if this and a few stunts are the best things I can say about Skull Forest, it really is a terrible film! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Review by Lead Entertainment Writer and Film Critic, Martin HaferShare: