Backwoods (2008)

A corporate paintball retreat turns into a fight for survival as a group on a team building outing come face to face with a lunatic cult deep in the woods.

“Deliverance” meets “Wrong Turn” in this story of a corporate retreat gone horribly awry.  While out for a paintball trip, a group of computer programmers crosses paths with a twisted cult, who is convinced that they’re federal agents.  But at least this time, the crazed locals aren’t cannibals – that story has been done to death…this is COMPLETELY different.

A cadre of B-list actors help keep this thing together as the story is tired.  Everything here has been done before, albeit in different movies, and this feels cobbled together.  The action isn’t bad, but it comes in spurts.  The setup is painfully cliched and – perhaps in a failed attempt to breather life into things – painfully over-produced as we’re treated to multiple angles of our heroes swimming and frolicking for far longer than is needed.  Props to the director for realizing there wasn’t enough here to stretch into a full-length movie, but showing multiple shots of the same weak material really isn’t the answer.  Desperate to follow the tried and true formula of setting up the sequel to fill the whole thing a little more, we’re treated to one of the dumber moments in law enforcement history in the closing moments.

That said, if you’re a fan of these survival tales, then you’ve certainly seen worse.  This is far better than the “Wrong Turn” sequels and many of the fly-by-night knockoffs that keep popping up.

Stars: 2.5/5


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