It is very rare for me to have watched a movie for the second time and not be aware it was the second time. There weren't even moments or scenes hinting me of déjà vu while watching. Maybe after watching when thinking about it some. Although that would give you the illusion there is something to think about. Well, yes, maybe one thing. What was Bruce Campbell doing in this?
You see The Woods is so painfully obvious and predictable that right at the beginning you can tell how it will play out. The fact that good actors Bruce Campbell and Patricia Clarkson were in this at least to me implied that some surprises were in store for us with a twist or two. Unfortunately this is not the case. Not that it is super bad or anything. But it could have been so much more and so much wilder. For one thing it is clear that this film borrows from other films like Suspiria and maybe there is a touch of Ringu in there. And actually that was what gave me hope initially. Had this film managed to capture the same sense of atmosphere and dread from those films then we would had a winner on our hands. Sadly The Woods is lacking tension, thrills and scares or anything else that could have given this film the meat it needed. Another huge problem is that instead of being subtle and mysterious you aren't left wondering of what is going on. Not once will you doubt your senses. Basically what you see is what you get. Only in the last act they decided to ramp up events which was entertaining but felt rushed and out of place. Although it gave us a little dose of Bruce Campbell and that is always good in my opinion. Still the fact that Campbell is so underused is just painful and criminal if you ask me. To me that is just a sign of very bad directing. No matter how much I liked Lucky McKee's May there is no excuse for not getting more out of the potential this film had.
Anything else worth mentioning? Rachel Nichols (Continuum) has a role in this as the designated bully that all school themed films apparently should have. She does a good job and is a nice contrast to the roles she normally plays. Other than that nothing noteworthy. Just skip this one. It's going to be a waste of your time.