Summer Scars: Trouble In The Woods
Summer Scars is the one-hour production by Julian Richards, setting itself amongst others of the ‘Broken Britain’ genre.
The story is set in Wales and follows a group of young delinquents as they enjoy a day of hot-rodding in the local forest. They soon come across Peter (Kevin Howarth), a seemingly harmless man who enjoys joining in their fun. But as he gains their trust what becomes apparent is his true prerogative when they find themselves trapped in a hostage situation.
Although the film has been lumped with others raising the same issue of British youth, the characters here are a little more believable and a little less threatening. Although the group do get involved with some underage drinking and mild violence, unlike the extreme criminals from films such as Eden Lake and Harry Brown, what is portrayed is the fact that they are just kids and this progresses as Peter’s games become increasingly risky. For the age they are, the actors and actress playing the group do a great job of rendering their helplessness onto the screen, being described as “impressive acting,” from The Independent. Howarth also does a stand up job of playing the psycho in the woods, giving just the right amount of unhinged initially to raise suspicion and slowly developing into a truly fearful and believable performance.
The idea from the movie stemmed from an event in Richard’s child hood, which is perhaps why he was able to create such tension from scene to scene. Even the forest in which it was set becomes like a prison and creates an incredibly claustrophobic air to the viewer. Despite having little budget to play with, Richards has successfully made a film that could have easily been hyperbolised and for that the movie has received great reviews, being described as a mixture between Kidulthood and Stand By Me.
It’s an entertaining and well-made film with a decent and thankfully not overly complicated plot. Not only this but it fulfills its goal in creating a tense watch that will leave you falling off the edge of your seat.
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