09th Apr2021

‘Behind the Trees’ DVD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Vanessa Curry, Sahil Shroff, Subrat Dutta, Tvisha Seema, Tanvi Shinde, Apoorva Arora, Mohit Hiranandani, Abheer Meherish, Rhea Harwani, Rajesh Arya | Written by Vikram Jayakumar, Arjun Grover | Directed by Vikram Jayakumar

What drew me to Behind the Trees immediately, before I had started watching, was the main story – which sees a young couple come across a group of people performing an exorcism on a young girl. At first, unsure what to do, they watch from afar before deciding to step in and save her. The story kind of begins from there and I liked the idea of the movie coming after the exorcism.

Maybe I should have expected that after this opening that the middle third of the movie slows things down quite alot and becomes way too much of a generic, run-of-the-mill low budget horror. Thankfully, the final thirty minutes pick up again and almost makes you forget the mediocrity that came before it.

Behind The Trees is a well-made movie with some really nice cinematography. It seems that almost every horror movie recently, regardless of budget has a drone shot over a forest and Behind the Trees is no different. The shot does look good though so I can see why it keeps getting used! Tall grass plays quite a big part in the movie and is the location in many scenes. Clearly influenced by the Stephen King and Joe Hill story In The Tall Grass, this is no bad thing, as the grass looks great towering over the characters. The night time scenes by the grass look fantastic too, with some great use of light by the filmmakers.

Perhaps surprisingly, Behind the Trees has a couple of genuinely scary moments, both coming in the last thirty minutes but there’s also a general creepiness throughout. Helped by a suitably harsh-sounding horror score that maybe should have been used more frequently. I also liked the use of the locals wearing masks on the backs of their heads. This is explained because it stops tigers attack them from behind who are confused by the faces. It’s actually not a big part of the movie but does add an extra bit of creepiness with a real reason to have people wear a mask.

For a movie about ex0rcisms, the actual exorcism scenes themselves are instantly forgettable. I don’t mind the movie trying something different – it feels like every exorcism movies has the same exorcism on a bed or floor scene – but the ones used here offer nothing exciting. In a strange decision by the lead character, she decides to do the exact exorcism she was stopping the locals do to the girl.

Subrat Dutta as Navin is the highlight of the performances. He portrays the character that you’re never quite sure whose side he is on. There’s a slight oddness to the character that works nicely.

Like the last half an hour, the final scene of the movie wraps things up really well, so aslong as you can get through that middle third there is stuff to enjoy here. Behind the Trees isn’t like every other exorcism movie but it needed something extra to really stick out from the pack.

Behind the Trees is out now in the US; the film is scheduled for a UK DVD debut on May 24th, courtesy of High Fliers Films.


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