27th Jan2015

‘Treehouse’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: J. Michael Trautmann, Dana Melanie, Clint James, Darren Kennedy, Daniel Fredrick, Shannon Knopke, Victoria Spencer Smith, Chance Nichols, Nick Herra, Caleb Cox, Vincent Michael-Smith | Written by Alex Child, Miles Harrington | Directed by Michael G. Bartlett

treehouse-cast

After breaking curfew to party with some friends, Killian and his brother discover a treehouse in the forest. When they climb up they find a victim of the recent kidnappings which have happened in the area and their world quickly begins to fall apart. Pursued by mysterious beings, they need to find a way to escape the forest, or end up as victims themselves.

When I started watching Treehouse I instantly assumed it would be another standard horror film, and to begin with it does look that way. You have a scared looking female type searching desperately through a house for her brother for a few tense filled minutes as you know something ‘isn’t right’ and she isn’t alone. Dun dun duuun! So your standard scare fest then, right?

Nope, not in Treehouse. If you like jump scares, heavy gore or a faster pace in your horror films then look away now. Treehouse isn’t just a horror, it is a horror/mystery/thriller (I feel that should be read in the M&S advert voice…) so what you get for your money is less scares to be sure, but more character development, a clearer story, a slower pace and what overall develops into a very intriguing film. I have a feeling there will be two camps of opinion on this film, those that like the more story focused, character central plot, and those who are infuriated by the lack of much action and scares happening in the film. Both sides have valid points, on the horror front this film doesn’t stand up as well against other contenders, but I have to admit I found myself firmly in the former rather than the latter.

First off, this film is pretty. It is well filmed and doesn’t have a ‘cheap horror flick’ feel about it. Even the more gory moments have a feeling of realism about them which I felt supported the film well. The main two protagonists of this film, Killian and Elizabeth, are both extremely well rounded characters and, in my opinion, acted very convincingly. The chemistry between the two characters was very entertaining. It would be easy for this film’s slower pace to have it end up boring and tedious, but I felt they both managed to carry the story right to the end as they try to escape their mysterious pursuers.

If I had one annoyance, it was the ‘mysterious pursuers’, who might have been better if they were never revealed. Throughout the film they are built up, seen as shadows in the distance, which was awesome. They always felt there, just out of sight and were constantly in the back of my mind. But when the reveal happens and you find out what is chasing the protagonists, I could feel the tension disappear from the air around me. The film seemed to lose some of its momentum. However that which is lost is quickly found again in the final section for what I felt was an ending which may again cause arguments among viewers, but I found worked out quite nicely.

Yes, I really liked Treehouse. I would watch it again just because I felt the story was really well written, never mind all the other things I liked about the film. I definitely say you should watch this film, but watch with more of a mystery thriller in mind, not a horror.

Treehouse is out on DVD and VOD now in the UK courtesy of Signature Entertainment. The film is set for a U.S. theatrical and digital release on February 20th.

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