I had a hard time with “Deep in the Wood”. The fact that they at least spared us a supernatural angle, which was hinted at heavily before, might redeem it at least a little bit, but in my book, that wasn’t enough to compensate for the very arduous first two-thirds, and especially the totally unnecessary twist-galore concerning the all-dominant mystery of what happened to Tommi.
The setup, actually, was great; very intense, disturbing and promising. I think there’s probably nothing worse than having your child disappear, without knowing what happened to him/her. Unfortunately, once Tommi seemingly reappeared, the movie increasingly started to fall apart for me. His parents, Manuel and Linda, by now divorced, start to fight about Tommi, his return, but also – still – about his disappearance, and whose fault it all is. Hence, the movie actually managed the impressive feat to have me dislike both of them equally, thus ending up on neither his nor her side in their endless quarrel. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that when they shot “Deep in the Wood”, they tried way too hard in all regards, even though I have a hard time giving you any specific examples. One thing that was noticeable however was the very “digital” look of the movie, something that I’m extremely sensitive about (and allergic to). Then there’s the fact that it was probably a little bit too gloomy and bleak for its own good. Yeah, I get it, the story isn’t exactly a comedy, but would it have hurt to add just a few little laughs or lighter moments? There’s a scene where one of the characters says “No one is having any fun here” – which to me summed up the experience of watching the movie perfectly. And then there’s the completely superfluous twist-galore concerning Tommi’s ultimate fate. If they had skipped some of those twists and turns, and concentrated on the – quite tragic – final revelation, “Deep in the Wood” could have been really devastating. Instead, it all just felt incredibly forced and implausible. That, ultimately, was the final nail in its coffin for me.