When I see a random rerun of Law and Order: Criminal Intent - and I have a vague feeling that the series never ran first-run episodes, I think it sort of spontaneously generates reruns that were never new - I always wait to see whether Mr. Big or Vincent D’Onofrio shows up. If it’s the latter, I flip. With that meaningless and loosely related anecdote, Vincent D’Onofrio is making his feature directoral debut!
It’s a horror film musical, so he’s not exactly aiming for a massive niche. Here’s the plot description for Don’t Go in the Woods:
Don’t Go in the Woods is sound advice, especially when there’s a killer on the loose. First-time director Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”) explores love, greed and ruthlessness in this twisted musical/horror hybrid, telling the story of a young band who heads to the woods to get away from their everyday lives in order to focus on writing new songs. Hoping to walk away from the trip with new tunes that will score them their big break, they instead find themselves in the middle of a nightmare beyond comprehension.
And here’s the trailer:
I can see a kind of creative twist in that description, in the notion that the characters are essentially writing the soundtrack of the film, with their music presumably getting darker and darker as the film progresses. But in order for the music to really integrate with the plot, there has to be more to it, some sort of hook that explains why they keep singing when they’re getting hunted by a murderer. Plucking at the guitar seems to be a low-survival decision when trying to hide in the woods from a deranged dude.
But the trailer doesn’t seem to go for any sort of angle on the music. It seems indistinguishable from any other generic serial-killer-whacks-kids-in-woods slasher. The film is going to video on demand around Christmas time, so it’s totally got that seasonal advantage going for it.
I think that just leaves making jokes about the title.