Tommaso Conci, a 4-year-old child, disappears during a festival where people disguised as devils, the Krampus, terrorize the village with whips and chains. Five years later, he returns. DNA proves that he is Tommi and while Manuel, Tommi’s father, can finally embrace his son again, his mother Linda, suspects that he may not be who he appears to be.
A child named Tommi goes missing on his drunken father’s watch during a Krampus party. The famiy is devastated, and the father is the subject of many rumors surrounding the disappearance of his son. And the, five years later, the boy is found, although he doesn’t seem to remember anyone, and immediately has the town, and even his mother, doubting that it is actually him.
Although the premise isn’t the most original, what follows is an effective, tense thriller that occasionally delves into some interesting themes. It’s an Italian film, directed and co-written by Stefano Lodovichi. It’s a tight, well-paced film that wastes very few of its 88 minutes, gradually ratcheting up the tension as the characters grow increasingly paranoid and hostile towards each other. Tommi’s parents are played by Filippo Nigro and Camilla Filippi, both of whom are excellent as two destroyed people finding themselves in an intensely difficult situation, and you really get to understand them and fear for them. The movie plays out kind of like a mystery, teasing us with various bits of information and characters who seem to know more than they are letting on. It’s an intriguing story, the reveals we eventually get are satisfying and surprising. It’s a film that often goes for psychological horror rather than gore or jump scares, and while it’s far from being the scariest of these types of films, it does contain a few genuinely unsettling moments.
I was surprised by how much I liked “Deep in the Wood.” It doesn’t redefine the genre, but it goes to some dark places, and it has some really good cinematography and music. There has been a resurgence of great arthouse horror films in recent years, and although this one is not as great as some of those, it is fairly entertaining and frightening.
“Deep In The Wood” premieres On Demand June 13th from Uncork’d Entertainment and on DVD September 27th