SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS (2022) review by Steve Kirkham

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3 stars

Blue Finch Film Releasing. Digital. Out now

In this 80s throwback summer camp horror (you know the kind where filmmakers don’t have to deal with pesky mobile phones), we are at Camp Briarbrook in 1987, as Kim Wilde’s Kids in America plays over the titles. It’s the end of the season and we are introduced to the various camp counsellors as they prepare to close down and have a bit of fun before heading home. The various “types” are efficiently sketched in, you know, so you care about them. You probably won’t though…

Peter (Spencer List) is the life and soul of the party and doesn’t take anything seriously, unlike his more serious older brother Shawn (Tyler Elliot Burke), who is always getting his sibling out of trouble. Their Mum Heather (Cara Buono) runs the place, which was started by her father Gilbert (William Sadler, the only familiar face in the expendable cast). 

When Peter persuades his fellow counsellors to invoke the spirit of the urban legend Nurse Agatha, who supposedly carried out occult shenanigans at the camp several decades before. He believes it is just a made up terror tale to keep the kids in their beds at night-time… but of course it isn’t. 

Soon after, we have one of their number going bonkers and bloodily attacking one of the girls, and then we have a bunch of the children, as their bus has broken down as they were on their way home, being possessed and marauding through the grounds and woods. Eventually, and it takes a while, Nurse Agatha herself turns up, as family secrets are revealed and several of the characters are despatched in gory ways.

Written by Erik Bloomquist and Carson Bloomquist, this is an expansion of their 2017 short, with the former capably directing what is a fun if obvious homage to the numerous films set in a similar environment. It’s not particularly original but it is entertaining enough, if ultimately throwaway stuff with many of the plot turns not really adding up and elements that seem to have been thrown in for no apparent reason than to up the kill quotient. 

You are also left with one question after viewing it – which you’ll understand if you have seen it…what happened to the kids in the basement? I have now seen it twice now and have no idea!

Steve Kirkham