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Guest of the Woods Short Film Review


Directed by: #AbubakrAdamu


Guest of the Woods is a short horror film that follows three friends looking for an adventure. Bolaji, Dare and Haidar have finished exams and are desperate to escape the ever-growing boredom that hangs over their group. After watching a horror film, they believe that the best thing to find some form of entertainment, is to head to the woods and spend the day in there in hope of living in a real-life horror film. Not only were the boy’s seeking excitement, Haidar, is a big blogger and has been looking for new ways to gain viewers and make engaging and exciting content, could this new adventure be the way to do it?

This is a small budget film so with this kind of constraint it’s key that imagination, passion, and a unique vision is present within these short films to make up for this lack of budget. This story does fall into the cliché horror pathway, friends becoming too curious and head to the woods, completely oblivious to the stuff of nightmares that could potentially be lurking behind every corner. For avid horror fans like me, this is a narrative which we are all familiar with. However, regardless of a story falling into this cliché this cannot hinder a film, it’s the twist you add to the narrative which can truly spark fear and interest. Guest of the Woods does include a hint of a twist, however, this needed to be explored and invested in a lot further. The location was interesting but did not scream horror, it would have created a much creepier atmosphere if filmed in the dark rather than the day, this is typically what evokes fear, it’s the unknown within the darkness. Again, with a small budget, an investment into perfect locations would really elevate this piece, there was not much variety and so made for a slow pace and was difficult to remain invested.

The acting of the three friends was convincing, they had a clear bond throughout, and this is crucial within horror films. It’s important to believe in the characters own story and the reasoning for them taking this journey. I enjoyed their friendship dynamic and the interactions with one another set the story up perfectly and diverted the audience from the twist that lied ahead. Their reactions to some of the frightening scenes could have emphasised the shock and terror they experienced to convey that fear and project this onto the audience. It was great to not be fully exposed to the twist as what creates a good horror film is the not knowing. This form of tension building keeps you fearful and curious throughout, which is the perfect combination.

Guest of the Woods has the elements to construct a creepy horror, with a few additional modifications this has great potential. It would be fascinating to see this short turn in to a two-part film and watch where the director Abu-bakr Adamu vision takes him.


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