Alex Magaña's Weekly Tales of Terror: Lost in the Woods Movie Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Released by ACM Films

lost in the woods poster large

Written and directed by Alex Magaña
2020, 3 minutes, Not Rated
Released on August 19th, 2020

Chelsea Brea as Susan
Kristen Screnci as Becky
Jhordan Munn as Alicia
Rory Ross as Shapeshifter

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Alex Magaña wants you to know that the woods are not a safe place to be even in the brightest daylight. To that effect, he takes you to a stretch of frankly idyllic wilderness and forces you to try and believe your eyes when the Shapeshifter (Rory Ross) shows how dangerous it is to get Lost in the Woods.

The film utilizes every second of the roughly two and a half minutes wisely, giving you a creature that’s clearly supernatural and not to be trifled with a face that’s as banal as can be…until he smiles a bit. It’s a solid moment that gives punch to the ending and creates a creature with story possibilities to be mined. With a little more time fleshing out a backstory, the Shapeshifter could be a hell of a villain.

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The archetypal setting of the American wilderness combined with the classic pretty young joggers give Lost in the Woods an aesthetic that’s more Friday the 13th, but that plays to the advantage of the story. The Shapeshifter creature can easily operate like a slasher while being much more of a legitimate supernatural force; it’s a blend that’s capable of driving a feature-length film.

Lost in the Woods is a strong template for a future work that would be worth developing and investing in. Alex Magaña shows his usual eye for making a clean-looking little flick. Now we need to see that look get dirtied up a little bit. I’m ready for it.

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Movie: 4 Star Rating Cover

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Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Reviewer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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