Greywood’s Plot was shot in black and white for an alleged budget of $100 by Josh Stifter (The Good Exorcist, Scumbag) who also stars in it and co-wrote it with Daniel Degnan (The Good Exorcist) who plays the owner of the titular piece of land. The result is an oddity that seems to owe as much to 50s monster movies as it does to the films of Kevin Smith who gets a mention in the credits.
Dom (Josh Stifter) is a failed paranormal video blogger who still lives in his mother’s (Kim Fagan) basement. His failure to get his website noticed has led to him failing at suicide as well. His best friend and collaborator on the site Miles (Keith Radichel, In Shadows) is handling it a bit more sensibly by simply trying to move on with his life. There’s even the possibility that he and Marla (Samantha Kirchoff) might become an item.
But all of this changes when Dom receives a tape allegedly showing some kind of extremely strange creature in some woods owned by Doug Greywood (Daniel Degnan). He’s more than happy to let them camp on his land and look for the creature as well. Dom convinces the reluctant Miles to join him and they head into the woods. But what’s out there is stranger than any cryptid they could imagine.
Much of the film’s first half is a Clerks-like buddy comedy as Dom and Miles exchange goofy comments and banter back and forth about their lives or lack thereof. For a while, I was starting to think that, like Ape Canyon, it was going to be about the trip itself rather than about what they were looking for. Thankfully, once they reach the woods that gradually starts to change. At first, there’s nothing overt, just a slightly sinister atmosphere as they get lost in the forest and see some strange things.
The last half hour of Greywood’s Plot turns into a bizarre and quite bloody piece of work that I don’t want to spoil. It’s probably the last thing you would expect going by the film’s first hour, but it does fit in with it thematically. It’s actually a rather audacious move that easily could have fallen flat. And the change in tone and gore effects probably will turn off some of those who were enjoying the film up to that point.
For those who were unhappy with the relative lack of horror in the film’s first hour, the last act should make the wait worthwhile. There are some truly nightmarish images and disturbing scenes and concepts that will stick with viewers well after the film is over.
The effects for these scenes are quite effective and were also done by Stifter who really seems to be almost a one-man film crew. One thing he didn’t do was the animation for the hysterical killer hobo story, Matt Oberdalhoff (The Good Exorcist) and Lindsey Stupica (The Story of Christmas: Spark Bible Adventures) get credit for that.
The only real complaint I had with Greywood’s Plot is that it does drag in a few places around the end of the first act and middle of the film. While he is a good writer, Stifter isn’t up to Smith at his best, and even he can be a bit tedious when he’s not on top of his game. But apart from that, this should be a film for everyone who has been saying they’re tired of cookie-cutter sequels, knock-offs, and reboots.
Terror Films will release Greywood’s Plot on Digital platforms worldwide on September 16th. You can check their website or Facebook page for more information. And you can check FilmTagger for more viewing suggestions.