GREYWOOD’S PLOT (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘It all starts with a tape’
Greywood’s Plot is a 2019 American horror film about two friends who journey into the woods to uncover if a video of a monster is a hoax.

Produced, directed and edited by Josh Stifter (The Good Exorcist) from a screenplay co-written with Daniel Degnan. The Flush Studios production stars Daniel Degnan, Kim Fagan, Samantha Kirchoff and Aaron McKenna.

Our review:
Filmmaker/lead actor Josh Stifter’s backyard (or is it barnyard?) horror picture was shot for about $4,000 in black and white – except for blood-red credits. It functions in a look-what-can-be-done-on-no-money way, that will appeal to horror addicts who enjoy the do-it-yourself ethic. You have been warned about the gruesome operating-table sequences, though.

A familiar opening gimmick is that protagonist Dom (Stifter) lives with his awful mother and centres life around his paranormal online channel, in which he investigates modern “cryptozoology” legends such as the Jersey Devil (no, this is not a “found footage” narrative, despite all the expected ingredients for one). Dom has only half-hearted help from his best mate Miles (Keith Radichel), and his viewership is dwindling. Things get so bad that Dom nearly commits suicide with a gun after leaving his mom a VHS farewell note but cannot go through with it.

Then Dom receives an anonymous video purporting to show a “chupacabra” somewhere in remote woods. Dom recruits Miles (who has broken his vintage Gameboy and has nothing better to do), and they visit the site, land owned by Doug Greywood (Daniel Degnan), who claims no monster encounters but is happy to let the pair camp and investigate. Greywood is acting a little too friendly about the circumstances.

Unlike so many menaces in Blair Witch-style stuff where a lot is left to the imagination (translation: no budget for anything else), Greywood tries to explain himself in great detail in his mad science barn in the shock-horror last act, previously mentioned. It is still difficult indeed to make logical sense out of Greywood’s Plot! (exclamation point included), but maybe that’s not the point; internet-age mythmaking and folklore superstition is. Or not, as filmmaker Stifter inserts animation of various kinds and numerous references to old technology. There are some adequate monster effects, considering the paltry financing.

In short, a festival-type post-modern horror feature, minus name actors, with a sort of garage-band vibe to it, although the music here leans more towards folk-country. Attempts to make the old singing cowboy standard ‘Home on the Range’ into an ominous gothic anthem are noble but a little silly.
Charles Cassady Jr, MOVIES and MANIA

MOVIES and MANIA rating:


Other reviews:
” …Stifter’s use of black and white photography works fantastically in the rural settings (and yes, The Blair Witch Project must have been a visual inspiration – why the pair even get lost in the woods) and there are lots of little stylistic details, including some animated inserts and great low budget creature stuff, that keep things fresh.” Bloody Flicks

“For about the first 45 minutes this is the not-especially enthralling tale of two likeable, bumbling losers on the hunt to film the chupacabra for their youtube channel. Then it suddenly goes completely mental and becomes a modern-day version of early 1930s mad scientist movies. Shot in black and white this becomes sufficiently disturbing…” House of Mortal Cinema

” …there is an incredibly dark shift change in the film’s third act that turns the story on its head and is well worth the wait! Stifter does a great job of carrying the film as both lead actor and director of his own story […] The score from Curtis Allen Hager is subtle and underpinning but also incredibly grand at moments to heighten tension where it is used to full effect…” Indie Mac User

“A zero-money horror tale more than made up for with its wealth of imagination, Josh Stifter’s film handles its shifts in tone with an ease that’s far more assured than its gargantuan studio counterparts and takes the audience to some extremely dark places while never losing sight of the humanity of the piece. Greywood’s Plot wears its influences on its gore-soaked sleeve but it has plenty to say of its own.” Love Horror

“Originality is a strange and elusive thing, sometimes achieved not by breaking entirely new ground, but by hybridising different elements into novel, unexpected arrangements […] These are sutured together into a never-before-seen monstrosity of genre, all at once cruelly funny and utterly grotesque, as, reborn with a new sense of purpose and a new best friend, Dom can finally become sub while chasing his own tale.” Projected Figures

“The only real complaint I had with Greywood’s Plot is that it does drag in a few places around the end of the first act and middle of the film. While he is a good writer, Stifter isn’t up to Smith at his best, and even he can be a bit tedious when he’s not on top of his game. But apart from that, this should be a film for everyone who has been saying they’re tired of cookie-cutter sequels, knock-offs, and reboots.” 4/5 Voices from the Balcony

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