This could, I think, be the most average SyFy Channel original movie ever. It’s certainly got an interesting central idea, even if it was probably kicked into action by the then-upcoming “Grimm” TV series; but everything else about it is the personification of a shrug. But you, dear reader, rely on me to give you more than just a few lines, so let’s discuss “Black Forest”.
A group of tourists are in Germany, and thanks to Cazmar (Ben Cross, “Star Trek”), a rather silver-tongued tour guide, get on a bus and go for a tour of locations mentioned in the stories of the Brothers Grimm, who were really in tune with blah blah blah. There’s a stone circle, real fairies, and babies getting stolen; instead of calling the cavalry, they decide to go for a sleep in a big house nearby, and the au pair for the couple that just lost their kid is eaten by…seven odd looking fat “children”? I know basically nothing about the Grimm Fairy Tales, so apologies if I mention one of their famous stories by accident without realising what I’m doing.
So we get a variety of responses to the world of magic – from “these stones are ley lines” to “they’re just stones” to “look at the fairy magic” to “well, it’s a nice view from up there”. A little on the obvious side, but it’s a very simple and effective way to generate a bit of conflict. Then the magic started happening thick and fast, with our characters having to behave with a very fairy-tale-esque mindset, and I lost my interest a bit. There’s a very obviously gay couple, but for some reason the less camp of the two goes out of his way to state that they’re just friends (very few gay characters in SyFy Channel movies, now I think about it); a banker and his family; their au pair; and…I’m not sure what the last guy was all about, now I try to remember across the enormous gulf of 24 hours.
I find my skills, such as they are, are best when used against very good or very bad movies. Films like this, which appear to have been made by a computer whose sole parameter was to not offend anyone at all, is impossible to review. They didn’t care about it, so why should I? Once again, I roll out the ISCFC’s Theory Of Indifference – SyFy need material cheap enough to allow them to make a profit from selling advertising. They absolutely don’t care what it is or if it’s any good or not, and nor do the advertisers. The producers have a set amount of time and money, and know that if the film’s good, bad or indifferent, it makes no difference. People watching it are either like me (hipster scumbag film reviewers) or people who thought it would be marginally better than staring at a wall for 2 hours, thus the Indifference Theory creates another film enjoyed by no-one (not the people who made it, paid for it or watched it). I will hopefully have forgotten it in a few days, and this review will drift into the ether, to the delight of no-one, in much the same way as the movie did.
And that’s about all I can say on “Black Forest”. I couldn’t even summon up the energy to mock the academically bereft idea of tracking ancient megalithic structures to astronomical constellations, something that’s been debunked so often and so loudly that to trot it out again is…see, I can summon up some emotion about this movie, shame it’s negative.
Rating: thumbs down