Reviews: American Backwoods - Slew Hampshire

Continuing our never ending stream of horror reviews, Sarah enters the American Backwoods for some scary fun. 

American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire is the “based on true events” story of a group of teenagers in New Hampshire (go figure) who are lured into the woods by clans in the forest, all vying for inherent supremacy. Really wish I was making that up so I could claim credit, but I just can’t. This movie does a damn good job of making all others look just a tad bit inferior with chummy nonsense pulled right from a Scary Movie-era script. The subject matter is heavy and confusing, complicated but with the charisma and wit of a pseudo stoner-esque comedy. For a film that outwardly and proudly ousts itself as a “gore lover’s delight”, it is absolutely that as well as an explicitly well done page out of the ongoing book of horror.

"Shopping at Wal-Mart?!!!! Noooooooo!!!!!"

It begins in a Julia Stiles-type era of film making that only a high schooler of the '90s could understand. It's quick paced, sarcastically written and has a certain gritty air to it that slides alongside other teenage thrillers. This is a crystal clear example of when a horror flick nails it versus missing it entirely. Both director and actor Flood Reed does an impeccable job of keeping things on track with no glitches or added plot fluff, often times overused in this genre. Starring Dayo Okeniyi (most notably from Terminator Genisys and Hunger Games fame), Shawn Thomas and Tyler Rice among others, Hampshire's cast is packed with well rounded personalities and does a solid job of melding them all together. 

Slew Hampshire has a definitive Nor’east college frat boy accent and dialogue that make you feel like you’re watching the neverending introduction scenes for Jersey Shore. The writing is quippy and with absolutely no time spared, well-crafted sentences with a back story all their own. Each supporting character steals the scene every time they speak, almost eradicating the need for a top-billed star in this entire showcase. It’s a somewhat slowly built horror fest with more backstory than normally given in its type of genre. The way up to the top is fun and almost too dexterous to be believable but still is a rollercoaster from beginning to end.


-Sarah Shafer

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