Into the Forest, originally a novel by Jean Hegland adapted and directed by Patricia Rozema, in an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world that focuses on two sisters. The performances by Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood are what really shine despite some weak dialogue and some common tropes of the genre.
Into the Forest is a realistic look at a post-apocalyptic world
In a world that is set slightly in the future from now, Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) live with their father (Callum Keith Rennie) in the middle of the forest. The whole country is plagued by blackouts that eventually lead to complete power failure. This is an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic world as there are no monsters or nuclear attacks. It’s simply how would American society collapse if all of the luxuries we were used to were suddenly gone.
Initially, the trio stay in their home, which is disconnected from the basically everybody, until they need to head into town for supplies. It’s here that they discover how messed up everything has fallen in just ten days. Gas is all sold out, most stores have been ransacked, and people are less than trusting. They get 5-gallons of gas and some candles from a man named Stan (Michael Eklund) who works at a big box store. They return home and essentially attempt to continue their lives as normal. Eva continues to practice her dancing and Nell studying to pass her SAT.
Nell and Eva are interesting characters in a crazy time. This really allows Ellen Page to demonstrate her acting ability. She’s tough and intelligent, but she allows moments of tenderness and fear to show. Things are not easy for the girls as their house was still under repair and the conditions are making it unsafe to stay there. This is in some ways a problem with the film. In two years the house is basically collapsing on itself, but it didn’t seem like it would have happened so quickly. Yet, the concept and themes that are discussed in the film are intriguing enough to make the film entertaining.
The film feels rushed at times and almost as though it spends too long getting to the biggest theme of the film, but one that would spoil the story. If the movie had given more time to a later conflict and the inevitable resolution it seems like it would have been stronger over all. Into the Forest receive the Decent Watch rating.