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Treehouse Review

Treehouse follows a teenage boy and his older brother as they venture into the woods for a night of fun with other kids on the Halloween holiday. As they reach the designated rendezvous point, they become entangled in a seemingly supernatural force that was reportedly responsible for other missing people, and that is now stalking them.

I simply have to come out and say it. This isn't a solid indie horror film. We've all seen better. However, I can find the silver lining in anything, and this film has an opening sequence and first act that were great building blocks for an interesting tale of mystery and suspense. Unfortunately, this potential is undercooked and left to rot in the middle of the woods, along with its lackluster script and struggling cast.

The mystery instilled at the beginning of the film is designed to subtly imply multiple culprits for a string of disappearances in the small town setting of Treehouse. It is delivered in such a way that you are curious to learn the truth, but this curiosity quickly dies down as the plot trudges along and fails to retain your attention, inevitably leading to the eventuality that the payoff just isn't enough, or even more accurately, leads to a full-fledged disappointment.

***SPOILERS***

If your twist is framed in the realm of the supernatural or abnormal, it takes a great deal of effective, oft-flawless planning, execution and delivery to make the reveal a more simple, reality-based answer that doesn't leave the audience feeling cheated or despondent. In other words, if your twist takes the story from supernatural demons to regular ol' murderous hillbillies without proper build and conveyance, you've lost long before you played.

There are some indie films that simply can't salvage enough good qualities to be redeemable in the end. The lack of talent from the young cast and a relatively nonsensical script made this movie difficult to swallow for much of the runtime. The opening sequence was by far the most interesting aspect of the film, doing a good enough job to make me interested till the end. But unfortunately, it just left me more frustrated and saddened by the end result from thereafter.

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan