Treehouse (Movie Review)

Director: Michael Bartlett | Release Date: 2014

4

This treehouse "wasn't built for kids, that's for sure."

Treehouse tells the story of small town in the Ozarks where children have started to go missing. After an opening scene that is free of blood, violence, or any real stakes, the story is shakily established. A young girl comes home to find her younger brother missing. After following a figure into the woods she hears her brother's screams and we cut to new characters. After some fairly basic stage setting at a local high school principal announces ominously that schools will be closing early. The students are sent home, and a curfew is enforced. Naturally, with a potential killer on the loose, the town teens decide to head out into the woods after dark to drink. With a curfew in effect, no one will hear their fireworks (or their screams). While reporters from the local news station drone in the background about parents not leaving their children alone Killian and Crawford, a pair of brothers, plan to sneak out for the night. While out in the woods, they stumble upon a treehouse and everything goes downhill from there. Whoever, or whatever, is in the woods knows they are there and has no intentions of letting them go.

This film falls into some common and unfortunate traps. The pacing of the story is all over the place. Clocking in at 1:40, this film could have easily cut at least twenty minutes from its overall run time. The scenes where there is any type of action at all are sandwiched between long chunks of time where the characters do next to nothing aside from sit around talking. A plethora of flashbacks also eat into this nearly two hour long movie. The story seeks to leverage our emotions by creating backstories for the characters which seem to have little to to do with the overall plot. These pleas for our empathy are steeped in cliche and don't get us far. Despite the writer's best efforts, the characters still end up playing fairly flat. The actors do alright with what the script gives them but, unfortunately, that usually isn't very much. As the story progresses, these problems only get more stark as the "they" in the trees become less and less mythical and the plot becomes more formulaic, with our good guys hiding from and hurting the bad guys. Any semblence of tension slowly flickers out and the film takes on a strange, semi-religious tint toward the end.

Treehouse is definitely neither good nor bad enough to warrant watching it for fun. Unfortunately, it's just forgettable.

 

Sophie

Contributor

Sophie's introduction into the magic that is the horror genre was watching Halloween at a party in high school, and since then she's never looked back. She may be the wimpiest horror fan you have ever met, but she won't ever let that stop her!

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