THE AXIOM (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘There are monsters in the forest. Don’t tell.’

The Axiom is a 2018 American horror feature film written and directed by Nicholas Woods. The movie stars Hattie Smith (Parallax), Zac Titus and Nicole Dambro.

The movie was shown at festivals in 2017 – reviews below are based on this version – but the final edit and mix was released in 2018.


At the risk of her group’s safety, a young woman travels into Cinder Park, a National Forest, where her sister has become trapped in a multi-dimensional world of monsters…

The Axiom was released on VOD and digital platforms by Vertical Entertainment on February 12, 2019.


“The two things that work for The Axiom were the choice of casting and the ambiance itself – firstly, the cast outperformed themselves […] Secondly, the aura of the “haunted” woods gives off that closed-off and frenzied tempo at times, especially when the creatures come out to play…” Brainwaves

” …packs more imagination than you’re likely to find in most “cabin in the woods” thrillers, even though its slow-burn spooks stay straightforward. Not every movie has to burn down a barn. For those times when you just want satisfying smolder to hook your head for 95 minutes, The Axiom scratches an itch for appealingly average entertainment.” Culture Crypt

The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.” Dread Central

The Axiom is an ambitious indie whose reach slightly extends its grasp; the film’s weakness come from a desire to cram diverse tropes and lofty concepts into a single narrative. A more focused, traditional film, however, would have lacked the unbridled creativity that makes this film worthy of your attention.” Horrorfreak News

The Axiom is a great cinematic experience. Director Nicholas Woods takes a familiar theme and morphs it into a psychological terror. The film becomes one of those nightmares you never want to come true.” Decay magazine

“It should also be noted that the film is almost completely made of practical effects so hats off to the make-up gang. Intelligently crafted, well-acted and undeniably thought-provoking, The Axiom proves that horror movies need not be mindless to be effective nor senseless to be scary.”

“…it’s a movie that feels a little disjointed and one that doesn’t have a full grasp of its own identity. I recommend seeing it, it’s not a perfect film, but the blend of meta-horror and psychological terror is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.”

“Woods has some interesting ideas, but the film creates expectations that are higher than its ability to fulfill. Still, it has more going for it than the average slice & dice. There is a lot of promise here, but it is not a transcendent genre-bender, so manage your expectations accordingly…” J.B. Spins

The Axiom is an interesting film, one that attempts to subvert some of the more predictable tropes of the horror genre. Admittedly, this doesn’t always work, and the film largely falls apart once the interesting characters have been killed off. But, when considering that this is Woods’ directorial debut […] the result is nothing short of extraordinary.” Scream magazine

” …The Axiom owes as much to The Endless and Digging Up the Marrow as it does to Stephen King. And if that sounds like a pretty wild mix, you’re right, it is. And while it has some rough spots and loose ends it’s still an impressive and promising debut feature.” Voices from the Balcony

Main cast and characters:

  • Hattie Smith … McKenzie
  • Zac Titus … Martin
  • Nicole Dambro … Darcy – Alone in the Dead of Night
  • Michael Peter Harrison … Gerrik
  • Taylor Flowers … Edgar
  • William Kircher … Leon
  • Aaron Berjohn … Rapax
  • DeJean Brown … Charl
  • Brandon Burtis … Ernie
  • Chase Cargill … Opening Drogyr
  • Marshall Fox … Drogyr
  • Maria Granberg … Marylyn
  • Nicholas Woods … Daniel
  • Kathy Wu … Jessica

Filming locations:

Idyllwild, California

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