Fear of the Woods, a new short from writer/director Titus Paar (The Perfect Weapon) could better be titled Fear of a Damn Big Bear. Because that’s what is at the heart of this film, a giant bear, rendered with old school animatronic effects facing off against a trio of humans stupid enough to enter its domain.
It’s 1993 somewhere in Alaska and Damien (Christian Arnold, The House That Jack Built) is going bear hunting with his father (Vernon Wells, Commando, Camp Twilight) and Uncle Joe (Ralf Beck, The Huntress: Rune of the Dead, Animalistic). Well, his father and uncle are hunting, he’s there with his camera.
There have been attacks on some of the local farmer’s livestock, apparently the work of a very big bear. Bear hunting has run in their family for generations, but even that won’t prepare them for what awaits in the woods.
Fear of the Woods started out as a feature but ended up as a short due to the COVID pandemic. What we get is the first twenty minutes of the film, setting up the plot and introducing the bear, who is the film’s real star. It’s rare to see a giant creature that isn’t CGI these days and this animatronic beast is a welcome sight.
And we do get to see plenty of it. Paar doesn’t hide his creature in the shadows, we get to see it charging and attacking. And in a scene that gives you an idea just how big it is, rearing up on it’s hind legs in front of Wells, who is not a small man.
The one problem I have with Fear of the Woods is the dialogue. The film is meant to be an old fashioned macho man vs nature film and the dialogue reflects that. Some of it, especially in the first few minutes feels a little heavy-handed, almost to the point of parody.
Apart from that though, Fear of the Woods is a fun seventeen minutes worth of furry fury. It will make its debut on YouTube Friday, December 18th. Hopefully, we’ll get the full version in the not so distant future. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.