Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The horror genre has always been home to good old fashioned hucksterism. William Castle would rig theaters with flying skeletons and install seats that “shocked” the audience. Alfred Hitchock famously declared that those who were late to Psycho would be denied admittance. Even the 2013 remake of Evil Dead got in on the action with one of the most audacious movie posters in recent years. The horror genre is one big dare, a challenge from a filmmaker to their audience, and I can’t help but cackle like a loon when I see a movie declare its intentions as clearly as The Woods does.
The trailer for The Woods, the newest film from director Adam Wingard, has arrived and the clacking sound you hear is the Lionsgate marketing department showing off some big brass balls. They have declared that this is one of the scariest movies ever made. That’s their message. Are you brave enough to learn for yourself?
Whether the trailer does anything for you or not, you have to admire the nerve of how it’s constructed. This is the kind of brash confidence that could potentially blow up in someone’s face, but it’s more than welcome in a genre where too many people are far too comfortable giving soft passes to bad movies. If Adam Wingard has made a movie that will scare me as much as the pull quotes in this trailer claim, then I am entirely on board.
There is no detailed official synopsis for The Woods and the trailer doesn’t do much beyond establishing a sinister and intense tone, but here’s the gist of it: a group of friends go to the woods. They are not alone. A lot of bad stuff starts to happen.
Just yesterday, I wrote about how Wingard is a master of layering dark comedy into horror films like You’re Next and The Guest and wondered if that sensibility will be on display in Outcast, the new Cinemax series he worked on. Now, I have to wonder if he’s shifting gears entirely for The Woods, which looks about as grim as you can get. Wingard continued the hype machine on Twitter:
This is my first full on "shit your pants" horror film. https://t.co/uWB3jA6RJk
— Adam Wingard (@AdamWingard) May 10, 2016
The Woods opens on September 16, 2016. You can check out the poster for the film below. If things go according to plan, this will be a huge year for Wingard, with Outcast arriving on television, The Woods hitting theaters, and production presumably starting on Death Note in a few months.