Even in Spain, there's a Deep South.
Shades of STRAW DOGS and dabbles in DELIVERANCE, THE BACKWOODS is anexploration of deep south justice - in Spain.
Two Brits with their European wives holiday in the backwoods of Spain,Paul and Isabel (Gary Oldman and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), and Norman andLucy (Paddy Considine and Virginie Ledoyen). The two men go hunting oneday and come across a malformed little girl chained prisoner in adisused, ratty hovel.
It's the freakiest scene in the movie. Obviously this little girl isbeing kept alive by someone - so though we fear her "crazy flipperfingers" (she sure plays a mean pinball), we must fear even more thepeople who are keeping her like an animal.
Paul and Norman never think of this, and remove her to Paul's rusticcabin, intending to take her to a hospital. Let the moral ambiguitybegin...
The villagers come a-lookin' for the little girl, suspecting that Pauland Norman know something they're not telling. They're right, ofcourse. But are the villagers right in their treatment of the girl?Should the British couples just walk away, turn a blind eye and leavethe villagers to resolve their own sociological problems? After leadingPaul into the woods, the villagers go STRAW DOGS on Norman's wife,Lucy, who "asked for it" quite explicitly by walking into the local barupon her arrival in town, wearing a see-through dress.
THE BACKWOODS is an uneven production, alternately slow-moving andriveting; the malformed girl and STRAW DOGS rape scenes are compellingand wondrously violent, while the character studies of the two Britishcouples trying to rejuvenate their flagging marriages are not so.
The villagers have a point when they continually warn that theoutsiders should not have stuck their nose into Backwoods business.Resolution is not how Hollywood would have liked it...
--Review by Poffy The Cucumber (for Poffy's Movie Mania).