Timber Falls demonstrates why I have never been camping and never will. When you go camping, you often slip and fall onto sharp, stray branches that puncture your arm; you step into bear traps that practically tear off your leg; you get creeped out by Bible-thumpin' park rangers; you get taunted by local gun- and moonshine-totin' rednecks who sniff the crotch area of your jeans and declare, "Like a peach!"; and, of course, you get tied up, beaten, cut, and tortured by a trio of evangelical Christians-cum-psychopaths who want you to have children so that they can raise them to be evangelical Christians-cum-psychopaths too. I mean, when the guy in the Timber Falls trailer says the words "deep in the hills of rural West Virginia," that's all I need to hear to know that I should stay the fuck away and enjoy the comforts of city life—you know, like a nice dinner at Applebee's and a stroll through the mall.
Tony Giglio's tight, taut, and assured horror movie mashes up low-budget slasher films of the 70s and 80s with contemporary torture film excess and serves it up with an unusually adept cast. It does lose some steam after a while because there's only so much blood and gore I can take, but it's an admirable entry into the genre. And while I cling to the movie's cautionary tale about camping in the woods, Timber Falls is actually a cautionary tale about religious zealots. Certainly, they're absurd and violent caricatures in the film, but their enthusiasm and self-righteousness is something I'm sure we call can recognize in real life. Now that's scary.
I phoned Josh (who stars in it) afterward to call him a "sick bastard" and tell him that the matinee audience was comprised exclusively of middle-aged men, to which I thought in my head when I walked in, "This theater's full of middle-aged men! ...Hey, wait a minute—what the hell does that make me?!"