ROOTWOOD (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘Welcome to the darkest place on earth.’

Rootwood is a 2018 American supernatural horror feature film about the curse of the Wooden Devil directed by Marcel Walz (Blind; Blood Feast remake; Seed 2; Raw) from a screenplay by Mario von Czapiewski (Raw 3: The Revelation of Grete Müller; Cannibal Diner). The movie stars Elissa Dowling, Tyler Gallant, Sarah FrenchFelissa Rose, Brandon Rhea, and Tiffani Fest.


Students Jessica (Elissa Dowling) and William (Tyler Gallant) host “The Spooky Hour,” a podcast about paranormal phenomena and urban legends.

When they are hired by Hollywood film producer Laura Benott (Felissa Rose) to produce a horror documentary about the curse of the Wooden Devil, they sense a chance to become famous.

Together with their friend Erin (Sarah French), they enter Rootwood Forest and investigate the area to find out the truth about the Wooden Devil and his victims…


“Walz drops our asses dead in the forest and boxes the audience in with left and right hooks full of fright and anxiety, and the way that it’s emitted from his cast shows the relationship that he has with his actors – positive accord leads to positive results, especially in this facet; and it works like a charm.” Brainwaves

Rootwood is entertaining and a genius exploration of conflict within the independent film industry. Walz and von Czapiewski also provide an interesting social commentary on the digital age and the desperation of content creators finding that one big break of fame.” Decay Mag

” …all of the actors and actresses in this flick have real chemistry. It truly felt like friends and associates working together on a passion project more than performers just reciting lines. Throw in amazing gore and creature design from Headcase Studios and Rootwood is a stunning success in every department. Although, you’ll have to wait until the very end to get a full glimpse at the creature.” Horror Society

Rootwood really tries its best, is filmed appealingly and all genre elements are used, but it also makes it too easy for itself and at no point can the movie really get creepy and enthralling.” Letterboxd

” …if you’re looking for a pretty decent horror, with a solid story that’s beautifully shot then you might want to take this one for a spin when it becomes available. Personally, I could probably go another round.” The Other View

“There’s a twist ending, and a twist on the twist that isn’t nearly as original as the filmmakers think. There’s even another current film, Crypsis that uses it. But Rootwood runs into problems before that. It does a reasonably good job up until around the 50-minute mark. Then the stupid sets in.” Voices from the Balcony

“The film’s scares don’t begin to occur until about halfway through the film and that could prose an issue for fans, but when they come, they bring a level of insanity and fear among the trio of “filmmakers”. However, while there are plot twists and turns, the final ten minutes are extremely disturbing and well worth its 82-minute running time.” World Film Geek


Rootwood will be released on the UK on VOD via all the major platforms on 25th November 2019 by genre film specialists Evolutionary Films.

Cast and characters:

  • Elissa Dowling … Jessica – Bus Party to Hell; We Are Still HereTales of Halloween; Starry Eyes; et al
  • Tyler Gallant … William
  • Sarah French … Erin – Ouija House; Land Shark; Zombie Pirates; Insectula!
  • Felissa Rose … Laura Benott – Victor Crowley, Camp DreadSleepaway Camp; et al
  • Tiffani Fest … Brenda – Serena Waits, Garden Party MassacreCircus of the Dead
  • Brandon Rhea … Dominik Braun
  • Kwame Head … Roger Winston
  • Marv Blauvelt … Worker #1
  • Oasis Nguyen … Worker #2

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