In the annals of low-budget horror, there are movies seen as mythical for their ability to reflect a director’s vision despite a lack of resources. Greywood’s Plot finds itself strangely in a queue to be one of these films but is unaware that it lacks the foundational ingenuity to enter such company. Plagued by poor writing and a tedious build-up, little is engineered by the film to make it memorable.
The plot begins with fare that is all too typical at this point: A nerd blogger, Dom, played by the director Jason Stifter, and his best friend Miles, played by Keith Radichel, are compelled away from their go-nowhere lives to a cabin deep in the New England forest where all manner of horror can befall them.
Except that barely happens. Most of the movie is spent listening to them converse awkwardly about pointless topics. These discussions are studded with swearing, as though they are teenagers who have nothing better to say because they don’t. This is not helped by the fact that their characters are completely one-dimensional, which is ironic considering all the time they waste talking instead of building history or depth. In one scene, Dom finds himself overwrought by his friend’s actions. Still, instead of showing his emotion in any poignant way, he literally tells the audience via his video camera how frustrated he is and how betrayed he feels. It is all of it overbearing and tedious exercise.
“… compelled away from their go-nowhere lives to a cabin deep in the New England forest where all manner of horror can befall them.”
When anything of interest happens, the movie is already half finished, and by that point, one cares little for the characters. To make matters worse, the situations conjured are far from riveting and are more like watching someone run through a theme park of supposedly scary things.
Conversely, there is real charm to the movie’s visuals. It is shot in a lo-fi black and white, almost like archival footage of lost and ruined things. This works incredibly well when surveying landscapes, rooms, and other natural objects. However, it also highlights the lack of genuine talent in acting and dialogue, giving the movie an amateurish aftertaste. This is further exacerbated by inconsistent editing, such as when the titular character Doug Greywood is introduced in writing but, when met onscreen, is referred to as the plural “Greywoods” several times in succession. The moniker’s low budget should not be an excuse for such rudimentary laziness.
Special recognition needs to be given to some of the creature work and practical effects, as this is where the movie showcases real heart; however, the film as a whole is a perfect illustration of gore not equaling horror—while there are certainly a few truly affecting shots, none of it is anchored to anything grounded or human, which makes it all feel hokey. The result is that Greywood’s Plot feels like a first draft. It has all the raw ingredients to create a story of note, but almost none of those elements are refined in a way that resembles anything of substance.